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Can you Overbrush Your Teeth?

When the man or woman behind the mask at the dentist office tells you to floss and brush your teeth more often while they are carrying a sharp metal tool in their hand, it’s pretty hard to refuse their command. So you may heed their advice and diligently floss and brush your teeth each day, oftentimes more than that…about a month before your next visit. With confidence, you open your mouth again before them and a strange utterance comes out of their mouth…you’ve actually overbrushed! How could that even be possible? Overbrushing in technical terms is known as toothbrush abrasion, and it is a result of improperly brushing your teeth.

When Should I Brush My Teeth?

  1. Brush once in the morning when you wake up and once before you go to bed. No matter how good you feel and look in the morning, all that will quickly fade when someone smells your morning breath. Brushing in the morning also helps get rid of any bacteria that developed in your mouth while you were sleeping from the saliva in your mouth. It’s also important to brush your teeth between dinner and when you go to bed to eliminate germs, bacteria, and various foods you’ve ingested throughout the day.
  2. Brush about 30-45 minutes after eating acidic, sugary, or processed foods. If you don’t wait a while after eating to brush your teeth, the leftover food particles in your mouth can actually cause damage to your teeth as you drive some of these small particles into them. It’s as bad as the sound of someone scratching a chalkboard with sharp fingernails, repeatedly.

How Should I Brush My Teeth?

Just like going to the gym and not using the equipment properly can cause more harm to your body than good, misusing your toothbrush will create more problems than it corrects. One of the most common mistakes we see is when people brush their teeth in a back and forth sawing motion. Brushing your teeth should not be like you’re cutting your teeth, but like you’re gently massaging them. Small, circular motions over your teeth are what will best clean the plaque from them and also make them feel relaxed.

If you brush your teeth too hard, you will start scrubbing away the enamel layer that provides protection to your teeth and you can also cause harm to your gums, all the while making them more sensitive. The bristles of your toothbrush are made of nylon, and if they’re being squashed while you’re brushing, you are brushing too hard. Plaque is actually not something that is very difficult to remove. It matters, however, how thoroughly you are brushing your teeth, not how hard you brush them.

How Long Should I Brush My Teeth?

There is no precise time that it should take, but it should be about 30 seconds per each quadrant of your teeth – or two minutes in total. And 30 seconds per quadrant is still going to be 30 seconds even if you have the urge to try and rush the whole process. It won’t help. In fact, it actually exasperates the effects of overbrushing. Slow down, show your teeth some love, and enjoy the oral experience that is taking place in your mouth. Smiling feels good, doesn’t it?

How Long Should I Have My Tooth Brush For?

As with most things, wear and tear on toothbrushes will happen over time. Toothbrushes, in particular, wear out monthly as the nylon in the bristles hardens over time and use. Hardened bristles will cause damage to your gums and teeth with continued use. That’s often why toothbrushes are sold in packs, so take advantage of the spares. As a general rule, the softer the bristles on the toothbrush you purchase are, the better.

Brushing your teeth should not be a mental chore on your body, nor should it be some achievement you need to unlock. Taking care of your teeth is really quite simple and easy, and our dental team at East Center Dental, want you to be able to look forward to brushing your teeth each day.