Do You Brush Your Teeth Too Much?
Brushing your teeth is a vital step in maintaining good oral health. However, is there such a thing as over-brushing?
The American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. People sometimes brush after every meal, or brush midday to freshen up. Although this is not always a bad thing, when you start brushing too much or for too long, you can ultimately damage your teeth.
Brushing more than three times a day, and for longer than 2 minutes, can sometimes lead to your tooth enamel wearing down as well as cause damage to your gums. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and helps fight against tooth decay. Over-brushing can damage this shield and cause teeth to become sensitive and prone to cavities.
The people most at risk for tooth or gum damage from over brushing are those who are particularly diligent about their oral care and those who use medium- or hard-bristled toothbrushes. Other factors, such as a genetic predisposition to receding gums, clenching or grinding your teeth or having had your teeth straightened with braces, can increase your risk for damage from over brushing. Changing brushing habits can usually stop the problem from getting worse.
Practicing proper oral hygiene care at home is an important part of your overall oral health. However, being aware of how much is too much is equally important in keeping your smile healthy.
Using the right kind of toothbrush helps prevent unnecessary enamel erosion. It is recommended you use a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The Seal of Acceptance shows that:
- All of the toothbrush components are safe for use in the mouth.
- Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges (a soft-bristled toothbrush helps prevent the wearing down of enamel).
- The toothbrush can be used to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque.
- Scheduling regular professional cleanings and exams with our dentists will keep your mouth healthy.