December 2014 articles

Yes, You Can Brush Too Much!

There is too much of a good thing, even when it comes to brushing. Too much brushing, called “overbrushing,” can cause oral health problems just like not brushing enough can.

Vigorous brushing and overbrushing can lead to sensitive teeth and irritated gums.1 Brushing vigorously isn’t necessary to remove plaque. Using a good brushing technique and being thorough is the best way to remove plaque.

The people most at risk for tooth or gum damage from overbrushing are those who are particularly diligent about their oral care or those who use toothbrushes with medium or hard bristles. It’s best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent gum damage and wear on the soft tooth dentin.

The best brushing technique is to place the head of your toothbrush with the tips of the bristles at a 45-degree angle to the gum line and move the toothbrush with short strokes and a circular scrubbing motion several times in each spot. Don’t saw back and forth across the teeth with your toothbrush. Be gentle! Apply just enough pressure to feel the bristles against the gums. If you are squashing the bristles, you’re brushing too hard.2 Remember to get just under the gum line and between the teeth where plaque builds up.

Brush your teeth gently for two to three minutes, twice daily for the best oral care. Always use a fluoride containing toothpaste to help remineralize and strengthen your teeth. Don’t forget to floss each day, too!


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