Many patients mistakenly believe they need to scrub their teeth to remove or keep dental plaque in check. Brushing too hard or using the wrong tools for daily oral maintenance can damage your teeth, and your family dentist will explain the correct way to brush to maintain optimum dental health.
Some of the negative effects of brushing too hard include:
Bleeding gums – Healthy gums should never bleed. If gums bleed when brushing, this should tell you that you are doing something wrong. After all, you wouldn’t scrub your skin until it bleeds in the belief that you are getting clean. Think of gum tissue as you would your skin and treat it the same way.
Enamel wear and tear – The protective coating on teeth is very strong, but it is not invincible. Day after day of scrubbing can literally wear away the enamel. Your dental provider can offer supplements like fluoride to maintain the strength of your teeth, but if you brush away the enamel, it’s gone forever.
Gum recession – Brushing too hard can lead to premature gum recession exposing the part of the tooth that is normally protected by the gums. This is more than just a cosmetic issue. Sensitivity and the potential for gum disease are possible. Your dentist can apply a bonding material if erosion occurs that will match surrounding teeth providing relief with the added bonus of enhancing your appearance.
Periodontal disease – Patients that may have aggressively brushed teeth for years may now be faced with a big surprise. They thought they were doing a good job only to find out that vigorous brushing has resulted in loosened teeth and other complications attributable to gum disease. But all is not lost, for your dentist can treat gum disease and offer solutions to help support loose teeth like bonding them to teeth less affected.
Using the correct products for your daily oral maintenance is the best way to keep your teeth and gum tissue healthy. A fluoridated tooth paste and soft bristle toothbrush (an electronic toothbrush is a wonderful asset as you merely provide the guidance to make sure you are reaching all teeth and the fast moving bristles do the work), daily flossing, and twice yearly visits to the dentist will provide the foundation for healthy teeth and gums for life.
Are you overdue for a dental cleaning? Contact our office today to set up an appointment!