Most of us grew up hearing that we should brush our teeth twice a day. However, we were not usually taught anything beyond that. Believe it or not, there is a proper technique for brushing your teeth. If you’re doing it wrong, you could be doing more harm than good. A dentist in Framingham is here to discuss the proper way to brush your teeth instead.
What Happens If You Brush Your Teeth Too Hard?
Brushing your teeth too forcefully, or even using a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard, can result in some serious oral health problems. It can wear down your enamel, or the hard, outermost layer of your teeth that gives them their white color. The thinner your enamel becomes, the more the underlying layer of dentin is exposed. Dentin is yellowish, giving your teeth a discolored appearance. Not only that, but dentin contains microscopic tubules that lead to the nerves of the teeth, resulting in sensitivity.
Using too much force to brush can also harm your gums. Your gums could pull back from your teeth, exposing the sensitive roots to bacteria that could cause painful cavities. Gum tissue also doesn’t grow back once it’s receded from the teeth, so you’re going to want to keep them from receding if at all possible.
How Should You Brush Your Teeth Instead?
Here are some tips to brush properly and avoid damage to your teeth and gums:
- Use a soft-bristled brush. Harder bristles do not necessarily clean the teeth better.
- Place toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. This way, the bristles can clean under your gumline.
- Gently slide the brush back and forth. Make sure to clean the front and back of the teeth, as well as the chewing surfaces. Don’t use too much pressure; think of brushing your teeth like polishing an eggshell.
- Take your time. Most dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. This equals about 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth. The next time you brush your teeth, set a timer so you get a feel for how long that really is.
To clean your teeth, you don’t have to scrub your teeth like you’re sanding down a floor. Instead, apply only the gentlest of pressure. Your teeth will thank you!
About the Author
Dr. Arvi Duka is a graduate of Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. In addition to being in private practice, he currently holds the position of Clinical Assistant Professor at the Emergency and Oral Diagnosis Department at the same school. Dr. Duka is a member of the American Dental Association, Massachusetts Dental Society, and Metropolitan District Dental Society. For more advice on how to maintain excellent oral health in between dental checkups, visit Dr. Duka’s website.