Signs that you are brushing your teeth too hard

Signs that you are brushing your teeth too hard

Signs that you are brushing your teeth too hard

Signs that you are brushing your teeth too hard

July 29, 2019
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For most of us, brushing our teeth is a natural habit that we have formed over many years. Often, it is so entrenched into our daily routine that we don’t even pay a huge amount of attention to what we are doing at the time. Many of us are also guilty of trying to cut corners, particularly when we are tired. As a result, it is fairly common for people to brush their teeth for less time than the recommended two minutes each time, but much harder instead. After all, a short and furious scrub is as good as a longer, leisurely cleaning session, right? Wrong. Brushing your teeth too hard can actually put them at increased risk of developing problems.


At our dental offices in Omaha, we regularly see patients who don’t realize that they are brushing harder than they should. Here is what you need to know about why it is important not to be too aggressive when brushing your teeth, and the signs that indicate you need to re-consider your brushing technique!

The perils of brushing your teeth too hard

One of the biggest misconceptions about dental hygiene is that the harder you brush your teeth, the cleaner they will be. The truth is that bacteria, food particles, and plaque aren’t that difficult to remove from your teeth provided you use a good quality toothbrush and the proper technique for the allotted time. Soft-bristled brushes are actually better since they are more flexible and can slide into the microscopic gaps between the teeth.


So, what are the dangers of brushing your teeth? One of the most obvious is damage to the enamel. Enamel is the hardest substance in the body, but if it is repeatedly brushed aggressively, this protective coating can wear down and expose the softer, sensitive middle layer of the tooth known as dentin. Dentin is packed with nerves and if these come into contact with extreme temperatures, sweetness or even air, it can cause tooth pain. It also puts the teeth at greater risk of being affected by decay since bacteria will be able to bypass working through the enamel and instead head straight into destroying the dentin. If the enamel of your teeth is destroyed, you may need veneers to restore their strength and protect them.


Another area that can be affected by brushing too hard is your gums. It is easy to overlook the importance of gums, but they play a vital role in keeping our teeth secure and healthy. If you brush your teeth very hard, it can damage the gum tissue around the teeth, making it sore and swollen. It can also push it away from the edges of the teeth that it is supporting, putting them at risk of becoming loose and enabling bacteria and foods particles to enter and become trapped it the gaps that form around the edges, known as periodontal pockets. This almost certainly leads to gum disease.

Signs that you are brushing your teeth too hard

Signs that you are brushing your teeth too hard include:


-         Receding gums that are pulling away from the teeth. You may notice obvious gaps between your teeth and the gum tissue, or your teeth may look longer than usual.


-         Your teeth feel more sensitive than usual, which is usually an indicator that the enamel of your teeth has been damaged.


-         Your gums are red in color and bleeding when you brush your teeth. This can also be a sign of gum disease, so it is important to get your teeth checked out by your dentist.


How to prevent brushing your teeth too hard

Fortunately, it is fairly easy to reduce your risk of brushing your teeth too hard. Some of the things that you can do include:


-         Using a soft-bristled toothbrush

-         Opt for an electric toothbrush that will do most of the work for you

-         Brush in a methodical manner for the recommended two minutes each time

-         Replace your toothbrush regularly

-         Visit your dentist regularly so that they can check that there is no damage to your teeth or gums


If you are concerned that you are brushing your teeth too hard, our premier dental team will be able to help. Contact us today at our dental offices, Omaha, NE to arrange an appointment.