Brushing Too Hard Can Harm Your Teeth

More often than we’d like, our office sees patients who are brushing their teeth and gums so hard that they are actually doing significant damage to the periodontal tissues and bones that support the teeth. A stiff-bristled toothbrush combined with overzealous brushing can cause serious dental problems over time, including gum disease and tooth sensitivity.

People think that if they brush twice as hard, they will do twice as much good. In fact, if you used the same amount of force to brush the side of your arm, you could take your skin off.

One way to avoid damaging your teeth and gums is to purchase a “soft” toothbrush with rounded bristles.

Hold the brush between the thumb and forefinger, not with the fist.

When brushing, do not “scrub” the teeth with a horizontal, back-and-forth motion. Instead, start at the gum line and angle the brush at a 45-degree angle.

Brush both the teeth and the gums at the same time.

Push hard enough to get the bristles under the gumline but not so hard that the bristles flare out.

Limit the amount of toothpaste because it is abrasive.

The irony is that dentists want people to brush longer, not harder. Children and adults tend to spend less than one minute at a time brushing their teeth, even though removing plaque from the mouth requires at least two to five minutes of brushing at least twice a day. Remember: brush longer, not harder.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Troy and Birmingham area who utilizes the latest dental techniques and technology, be sure to check out Dr. Douglas Angell. Angell’s Dentistry is committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. Give our office a call at (248) 362-4330 and be sure to visit our website at:

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