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Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Brushing?

Getting into a good oral routine is critical to keeping your teeth and gums looking great, a big reason why dentists recommend that you should brush at least twice per day and floss at least once per day. Yes, we all know how important brushing is - but is there such a thing as overdoing it? Can too much brushing actually cause issues?

You might be surprised to learn that the answer to the two aforementioned questions is "yes." In fact, overbrushing can lead to a condition known as toothbrush abrasion. This often results in sensitive teeth and receding gums. According to estimates from The Wall Street Journal, as many as 20 percent of all Americans have experienced toothbrush abrasion from overbrushing.

Overbrushing Basics

guy brushing his teeth

Brushing too much can put excess wear and tear on the teeth, so much so that it's often associated with premature wearing of tooth enamel. This can lead to tooth sensitivity. What's more is that brushing too much can push back the gums, potentially revealing the more sensitive root part of the teeth. Gum recession is another detrimental condition, often associated with periodontal disease and more cavities on the exposed root parts of the teeth.

More Ways to Clean

Brushing is an important part of your oral health routine, there's no question about it. That said, in order to avoid toothbrush abrasion from overbrushing, it's critical not just to brush per your dentist's recommendation, but also to brush correctly. For instance, stay away from the hard-bristled toothbrushes, as they're tougher on the teeth. Additionally, don't scrub hard when you brush. Instead, focus on gently brushing your teeth for 2-3 minutes, moving the toothbrush around at different angles to reach all areas of the mouth. When it comes to brushing, being thorough is more important than being aggressive.

If you're diligent about your oral care routine but don't want to overdo it with the toothbrush, know that there are other ways to keep your mouth clean without brushing:

  • Scrape the tongue: Scraping the tongue can remove bacteria and plaque buildup to help lead to a cleaner mouth.
  • Change your diet: Stay away from sugary foods that can help lead to the formation of plaque.
  • Drink lots of water: Simply drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated can help prevent dry mouth and can also help clear excess food and plaque.
  • Use mouthwash: Mouthwash can help eliminate bacteria and leave your mouth feeling clean and fresh.
  • Chew gum: We recommend going with a sugar-free type of gum to help avoid dry mouth. Chewing gum can also help dislodge food that's been caught in the teeth. 

For more information on overbrushing and ways to keep your mouth feeling great without overdoing it with the toothbrush, contact Caven Dental today.

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