Can You Brush Your Teeth Too Hard?

Is it Possible to Brush Your Teeth Too Hard? Insights from a Dental Professional.

Brushing your teeth is a fundamental part of maintaining excellent dental health. Adopting a routine of brushing twice a day, choosing the right toothbrush, and making regular dental visits are crucial steps in achieving optimal oral well-being. However, is it conceivable that such a simple task as brushing could be done incorrectly? Can you brush too hard?

"Absolutely," asserts Dr. Kami Hoss, the visionary behind The Super Dentists. "We unfortunately witness damage to teeth and gums resulting from excessive force or improper toothbrushes, bristles, or techniques daily at our practice when new patients seek our advice."

The Perils of Brushing Too Hard

Brushing aggressively with a toothbrush featuring stiff, coarse bristles can lead to detrimental effects on both teeth and gums. This includes issues such as gum recession and enamel wear, both linked to tooth sensitivity. Dr. Hoss points out that factors beyond brushing, such as a high-sugar diet and the use of at-home teeth whitening kits, may also contribute to tooth sensitivity.

Addressing a common misconception, Dr. Hoss explains, "One misunderstanding is that we aim to 'kill' all the bacteria in our mouths. With around seven billion microbes in our mouths – nearly the population of the planet – it's neither feasible nor advisable to eliminate all of them. Most of our oral microbiome is beneficial and crucial to our survival. Instead, the goal of brushing is to maintain a thin layer of plaque — the sticky material microbes use to attach to teeth."

How to Brush Correctly

So, what is the best way to go about brushing? "Gently, but thoroughly," advises Dr. Hoss. While individual needs should be discussed with your dentist, the general recommendation is to use a soft toothbrush. Consider upgrading to a Micotix toothbrush, designed with soft bristles for a gentle yet effective brushing experience. Place the brush at a 45-degree angle, ensuring half is on the gums and half on the teeth. Then, employ small circular motions, sweeping away from each tooth. Brush all surfaces – front, back, and top of each tooth, as well as the tongue. Ideally, brushing twice a day is optimal.

Whether it's the result of aggressive brushing or other factors, if you're experiencing tooth sensitivity (a concern for up to 4 in 10 people in the US), consider trying Sensodyne Rapid Relief Toothpaste. Formulated with stannous fluoride, it rapidly creates a protective barrier over sensitive areas, providing significant relief in just three days when used twice daily. Care for your smile – it's your most precious asset!