As a long-time Buckhead dentist, Dr. Bahar Nia has worked with many patients with tooth abrasion. This common problem often occurs in patients who have the best intentions when it comes to keeping their teeth clean. In an effort to do so, they push down too hard on their toothbrush and damage their teeth. When repeated often enough, aggressive tooth brushing can cause lasting and significant dental issues.
What Happens When You Brush Your Teeth Too Hard?
Your Buckhead dentist would like you to know that brushing your teeth too vigorously primarily leads to receding gums and increased teeth sensitivity. When the enamel of your teeth becomes worn due to aggressive brushing, it exposes the root area of your teeth and causes pain. This also occurs when your gums get pushed back too far. Other potential problems caused by brushing your teeth too hard include an increased risk of the following:
- Periodontal disease
- Developing cavities on the root of a tooth
- Tooth extractions
- Root canals
If you feel like you’re currently brushing your teeth too hard, simply reducing pressure on your teeth can help considerably. This problem is also more common among patients of our Buckhead dentist who use a brush with hard or medium bristles.
It’s also important to keep in mind that habits such as grinding or clenching your teeth or having a predisposition to gum recession can make the consequences of aggressive tooth brushing worse. People who wore braces in the past are also prone to more severe consequences when they brush their teeth too hard.
Your Buckhead Dentist Has Good News About Plaque
The reason that some people brush too hard in the first place is that they think it’s necessary to remove plaque from their teeth. However, this isn’t true. Plaque is a soft substance, not a hard one. It’s much more important to be thorough with your tooth brushing than it is to be aggressive. In most cases, changing your brushing habits is enough to undo the damage already done to your teeth. If you have severe damage, Dr. Bahar Nia will discuss additional treatment options with you.
How to Keep Your Teeth Clean without Over Brushing
The first thing to do when changing your toothbrush habits is to replace your current toothbrush with one containing soft bristles. It’s also important to gently brush your teeth for two to three minutes at a time at least twice each day. The benefit of using a toothbrush with soft bristles is that it prevents excessive wear on the dentin of your teeth as well as keeps your gums from moving out of place. Your Buckhead dentist also recommends the following tips:
- You’re applying too much pressure if the bristles of your toothbrush feel squashed against your teeth.
- Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle.
- Use a scrubbing motion with short strokes on each tooth rather than dragging the toothbrush quickly across each row of teeth.
Please don’t hesitate to ask additional questions about proper tooth brushing at your next preventive care appointment. To schedule your appointment, please call us at 404-400-0400 or reach out online.