Any dentist will gladly tell you how important it is to brush your teeth, but how many times have you heard one say that you overdid it? If you press too hard or scrub more vigorously than you actually need to, you could actually end up damaging your teeth – and over time that damage will start to add up to some very serious consequences. Learn more about the dangers of toothbrush abrasion in Fairfax and what you can do about it.
What are the Dangers of Toothbrush Abrasion?
Overbrushing will wear down your enamel bit by bit; eventually you might notice small notches in your teeth. You might also end up pushing back your gums, exposing the roots of your teeth and making them more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Receding gums can also potentially be dangerous for your health, as they leave you more vulnerable to cavities and gum disease. In other words, if you do overbrush, you might ultimately increase your chances of suffering from a tooth-threatening oral disease.
How Can You Avoid Toothbrush Abrasion?
Luckily, it’s actually quite simple to avoid unnecessary tooth abrasion. Despite what you might think, you don’t need to scrub particularly hard to clean your teeth; plaque is very soft and easily removed. Your focus should be getting all the various nooks and crannies in your mouth. Here are some tips for proper brushing technique:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that’s easier on the gums and enamel.
- Hold the head of the brush so that the bristles are at a 45-degree angle with the gumline.
- Using a gentle scrubbing motion, move the toothbrush several times in each spot you want to clean with short strokes.
- You should only apply a slight amount of pressure so that you feel the bristles against the gums; do not squash them against your mouth.
How Can Your Teeth Be Protected After Abrasion?
Once enamel has been lost, it won’t come back. As such, if your teeth have already been damaged by overbrushing, you’ll need help from your dentist to make sure that your smile stays well-protected. For instance, if the surface of the tooth has been weakened, it can be strengthened with a fluoride varnish. In some cases, you can even get a porcelain veneer to cover the damaged area; not only will this serve as a defense against further abrasion, but it can also improve the appearance of your tooth.
It can sometimes be hard to know if you’re practicing the right brushing habits or not. Talk to your dentist in Fairfax about your oral hygiene routine and the state of your oral health; they’ll be able to help you whether it’s to avoid future dental problems or to correct damage that’s already been done!
About the Author
Dr. Sanae Berrada has over 20 years of clinical experience and has had extensive training in various fields of dentistry. In addition to regular checkups, she can use both restorative and cosmetic treatments – such as porcelain veneers – to repair teeth that have been damaged by toothbrush abrasion. To schedule an appointment at her Fairfax practice, Fairfax Dental Esthetics, visit her website or call (703) 279-3400.