Less may be more when it comes to brushing your teeth. A new study shows that applying more than a slight amount of pressure when brushing or brushing longer than two minutes doesn't make them any cleaner and may increase the risk of oral issues.
Experts say many people think the longer and harder you brush your teeth, the better it is for your teeth. But new studies show there's a limit to the amount of pressure your teeth can take and going too long can cause problems.
Use a Lighter Touch
A group of researchers did a study on the brushing techniques and times that 12 people who used electric toothbrushes during a four-week study. The participants were taught how to use the vibrating toothbrush, which was hooked up to a computer that took time and pressure measurements. When finished, they compared 16 combinations of various brushing times and pressure. Plaque levels on the teeth were also recorded before and after the test.
When you push too hard on your teeth while brushing, it is known as “toothbrush abrasion.” Overbrushing can lead to sensitive teeth and receding gums. Vigorous brushing can wear down the enamel that protects your teeth as well as damage and push back the gums, exposing the sensitive root area. This puts you at risk for cavities in a hard to reach area.
Receding gums can also lead to other dental problems such as periodontal disease and cavities on the roots of the teeth and may lead to needing to get fillings, root canals and possibly even tooth removal. According to the Wall Street Journal, dentists estimate that between 10 to 20 percent of the population have damaged their teeth or gums as a result of overbrushing.
Changing brushing habits can usually stop the problem from getting worse. In cases of severe toothbrush abrasion, our staff can fill in the grooves with a bonding material to protect your teeth. At your next visit to our office ask us to check for signs of toothbrush aversion. If we have not seen you, feel free to call today to schedule an appointment.