At Arch Dental, we know how important it is to have a beautiful smile. From booking regular dental exams and cleanings, to following a proper oral hygiene routine at home, you dedicate a lot of time to ensuring your smile stays healthy and clean.
But did you know that over brushing can actually damage your teeth and gums? Over brushing, or brushing your teeth too forcefully, can cause more harm than you may realise. But don’t worry, we’re here to help!
Keep reading to learn more about how often you should brush your teeth and how to ensure your oral hygiene routine is protecting your smile instead of harming it.
The Importance of Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is about more than having a white smile. Of course having a bright and healthy smile is a bonus, but taking care of your oral health is directly related to your overall health.
Properly caring for your teeth can help:
- Prevent oral disease
- Limit tooth decay & gum disease
- Prevent other health conditions like diabetes & heart disease
In addition to keeping your entire body healthy, taking care of your teeth and gums can help you avoid bigger dental procedures in the future. Save your smile and save your money by brushing your teeth properly!
How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth?
The Canadian Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes, preferably when you wake up and right before you go to bed.
If you can, experts say that you should try to brush your teeth after every meal, but we understand that this isn’t always possible. While brushing twice a day is suitable for most people, your dentist can help you determine an appropriate brushing schedule based on your individual needs.
What Happens If You Over Brush?
When we say over brushing, it doesn’t just mean brushing your teeth too often. Over brushing can also include brushing your teeth with too much force.
While brushing regularly is essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy, over brushing can negatively affect your oral health. When you brush too often or too hard, you may:
- Wear down the outer layer of your teeth
- Make your teeth overly sensitive
- Discolour your teeth
- Damage your gum tissue & cause your gums to recede
- Expose your tooth roots making them vulnerable to disease & decay
Over brushing is a serious issue that can lead to more oral health problems in the future. If you think you may be over brushing your teeth, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. Getting quick attention can help prevent causing any more damage to your oral health.
How to Tell If You’re Over Brushing
It might be difficult to tell if you’re over brushing. If you have any concerns, it’s best to book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, here are some signs to look for that may indicate you’re over brushing:
- Your gums are often swollen or red after brushing
- The bristles on your toothbrush are splayed
- Your gums bleed when you brush your teeth
- Your gums are receding
- You feel pain around your teeth after brushing
How to Properly Brush Your Teeth
When it comes to brushing your teeth, technique matters.
The goal of brushing your teeth is to remove plaque and avoid tooth decay. To properly remove plaque without over brushing your teeth, follow these steps:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle
- Brush in a circular motion
- Apply just enough pressure to feel the bristles on your gums
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, spending 30 seconds per quadrant
- Replace your toothbrush at least once every 3 months
- Don’t brush for longer than 4 minutes
In addition to brushing your teeth, remember to floss at least once a day, and see your dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and cleaning! Every time you see your dentist, they’ll check your teeth for signs of over brushing and can help teach you proper brushing techniques.
Take Care of Your Teeth
If you’ve noticed that your gums have receded, or your teeth have become sensitive to hot or cold, you’ve probably been over brushing your teeth. If you think you might be over brushing, don’t worry!
To protect your teeth and gums, follow our tips above and make sure to see your dentist at least twice a year. With proper dental care and a good hygiene routine at home, you can enjoy a clean and healthy smile!