How Hard Should You Brush Your Teeth?
It's no secret that brushing is extremely important when it comes to dental health. Everyone from young children to adults should brush at least twice a day, not to mention floss at least once a day and rinse with mouthwash one to two times a day. Since brushing is so important and so frequently brought up as a staple of dental health, some people have the tendency to brush really hard. This way they think they're making the most of their time at the sink. This brings up the question - how hard should you brush? Let's take a closer look at what is considered brushing hard and how it can impact your teeth.
Brushing Too Hard Is Bad For You
You may think that brushing hard is good for your teeth because it can really loosen up plaque. However, this simply is not true. In fact, brushing too hard can create a lot of dental health problems. More pressure is simply not the answer for effective brushing, and you can clean your teeth effectively by just brushing gently instead. Are you worried you're brushing too hard? Here are some signs you may be applying too much pressure.
Signs You're Brushing Too Hard
The easiest way to evaluate if you're brushing too hard is to watch how you press the bristles to your teeth. If you're bending the bristles into your teeth, then you're absolutely brushing too hard. The bristles should stand flush against your teeth as you brush, and only a minimal amount of pressure is needed. Continually brushing too hard can lead to more significant problems as well. Let's take a look at some symptoms to watch out for.
More Significant Problems From Hard Brushing
As you continually brush your teeth hard, you start to wear down both the enamel and the gum line. This is bad for several reasons. First, losing enamel can cause teeth to feel more sensitive and lead to more staining and cavities. Cavities that appear near the top of the tooth next to the gum line are often a sign you're brushing too hard and wearing away enamel. Damaging the gum line can have severe consequences as well. Brushing too hard causes the gum line to recede and exposes more sensitive areas of your teeth. As a result your teeth will be subject to more decay and their sensitivity to hot and cold foods will increase. For these reasons, you should absolutely avoid brushing your teeth too hard.
What To Do Instead
First and foremost, it's wise to pay attention to the condition of your tooth brush. You'll want to replace it with a new one every 3 months or so. If you continue to brush with a worn out toothbrush, it will clean less-effectively and this may cause you to press down harder to compensate. Secondly, you'll want to stay away from toothbrushes with hard bristles. These are simply not necessary and a soft bristle brush will do the job just fine. Finally, you'll want to carefully pay attention to how you brush and eliminate any habits of pressing hard. Instead try a gentle circling motion and brush both your teeth and gums this way for two to three minutes.
Well there you have it, brushing hard is simply not a good way to clean your teeth. In fact, it can cause some serious problems if you continue to brush hard day after day. Instead do your teeth a favor and let off the pressure and select a soft bristle brush. Doing this and practicing proper brushing techniques will ensure your teeth are healthy for years to come. If you still have questions about your brushing technique, please contact us at Grace & Leedy Family Dentistry to schedule a visit!