Brushing your teeth is so important to your oral health, but like most things, there’s a right and
a wrong way to do it. Brushing your teeth too hard can hurt your teeth in more ways than you
think. How can you know if you’re being too hard on your teeth when brushing?
The following are some signs that you might be harming your smile by brushing a little too
aggressively. Don’t ignore them!
Enamel erosion is the most common sign of brushing your teeth too hard. You might be able to
see changes in your tooth enamel such as discolored or easily stained enamel. This is a sign that
your tooth enamel has worn away and that the dentin underneath is beginning to show
Sensitive teeth is the main complaint of those with enamel erosion. The enamel is no longer
there to protect the inner layers of your tooth, so your teeth begin to feel temperature more
and may hurt as a result. Brushing your teeth too aggressively can wear away your enamel over
time, especially if you’re brushing immediately after meals.
Gum recession is typically a sign of gum disease, but in cases where harsh brushing and gum
disease are both present, gum recession can accelerate. Gum recession happens when your
gum tissue begins to pull back from your teeth which may expose tooth roots and result in
intense tooth sensitivity.
If you have gum disease, you may be seeing other signs such as longer teeth or bleeding gums.
Aggressive brushing can irritate gum tissue and cause your gums to recede back from your
teeth. Gentle brushing is key for both teeth and gums for optimal oral health.
People who take good care of their teeth through regular brushing are often surprised to hear
they have cavities when they go to the dentist. They may be brushing their teeth regularly, but
harsh brushing may be working against them when it comes to preventing cavities.
This is because harsh brushing can wear away protective tooth enamel, leaving your teeth to
become more susceptible to the bacteria and acids that cause cavities. If your dentist visits
frequently turn up cavities, it might be time to reconsider your brushing habits.
How to Brush Your Teeth More Gently
Brushing your teeth gently is easy when you choose the right toothbrush. Pick a toothbrush
with soft bristles, as plaque doesn’t need much pressure to be removed from your teeth.
Be more conscious of your movement when you brush. Are you sweeping in large strokes
across your rows of teeth? Focus on small, precise movements that cover all surfaces of the
tooth rather than large sweeping ones. For the sides of your teeth that your toothbrush can’t
reach, grab your floss!
Taking the best care of your teeth is all in the details. Gentle brushing tends to be more
effective than harsh brushing and can help build a foundation for a healthy smile. Reconsider
how you brush your teeth if you’re seeing these signs of aggressive brushing!