You might think that the more pressure you apply to your teeth and gums while brushing, the cleaner they will get. Unfortunately, not only is this an ineffective method to oral care, it can actually do more harm than good. Brushing too hard can cause your gums to recede, exposing your teeth to more bacteria.
That’s why your dentist in Richardson is ready to set the record straight. Today, you’ll learn the proper ways to maintain the health of your teeth and gums and why you should avoid brushing too aggressively.
HOW IMPROPER BRUSHING HURTS YOUR MOUTH
As a child, your parents and dentist most likely discussed the proper way for you to brush your teeth. As you get older and no longer have that supervision, you may not realize how much your brushing technique has changed. If you notice your gums are receding, even after brushing for two minutes twice a day, you may want to reconsider your technique as well as the toothbrush you’re using.
If you’re not replacing your current toothbrush or the disposable head on your electric toothbrush, there’s a good chance the bristles have become severely frayed. This prevents the bristles from properly cleaning the surfaces of your teeth. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months to maintain its cleaning power. If needed, switch to a brush with softer bristles to avoid irritating your gums as well.
Furthermore, brushing aggressively will not remove more plaque from your teeth. In fact, heavy-pressured brushing causes your gums to recede and your tooth enamel to wear down more quickly. Luckily, your dentist lays out the best way to brush without causing self-harm in the process.
THE PROPER TECHNIQUE FOR ORAL CARE
When brushing, use soft, short, and circular motions and angle the bristles at a 45-degree angle to the gumline. Only focus on a couple teeth at a time rather than quickly moving all around. This way you’ll be more thorough with each tooth and avoid over-brushing.
If you’re afraid you aren’t brushing long enough or find it difficult using a manual brush, try making the switch to an electric toothbrush. Most electric brushes come with circular heads and timers that help you practice the best brushing technique and avoid brushing for too long.
THE BEST WAYS TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR GUMS
To prevent gum disease, keep the 2-2-2 rule in mind to remember how often you should brush and visit your dentist for checkups and cleanings. Brush twice a day, for two minutes a day, and visit your dentist twice a year. Floss at least once a day to remove plaque and food debris from the sides of your teeth.
When it comes to your daily habits, avoid tobacco products as these are extremely prone to causing gum disease. Cut down on high-sugar foods and drinks and if you drink alcohol, only do so in moderation.
Stay ahead of gum disease and learn the best brushing techniques from your dentist in Richardson. Schedule an appointment with them today!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Nathan Coughlin, who graduated at the top of his class during his undergrad studies, went on to earn his dental degree from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. While attending, he pursued his dream of becoming an orthodontist and eventually became board-certified. He eventually become a Diplomate of Orthodontics, an honor that few orthodontists around the country hold. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (972) 737-9159 or visit his website.