Brushing your teeth is supposed to be good for them, so more brushing should be even better, right?

Not so fast. It’s possible to have too much of a good thing, and cause your teeth significant damage.

How Overbrushing Can Damage Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth can cause damage to them because toothpastes often contain abrasives. Although these abrasives are generally mild and won’t damage your teeth if used properly, they can result in significant wear if used too aggressively. This may mean either that you’re brushing too often or brushing too hard.

Perhaps the earliest symptom of overbrushing is gum irritation. If you notice that your gums get sensitive when you brush more times a day, it’s time to cut back. You may also start to notice that your teeth are beginning to feel sensitive as well.

Over time, you may also notice that your teeth aren’t getting white the way they used to, they’re starting to look discolored. This is because you’ve thinned your tooth enamel, and the yellowish dentin is beginning to show through, and it’s a sign that you need to change your routine or you may be setting yourself up for reconstructive dentistry.

Brushing the Right Way

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day: before you go to bed and right after you wake up in the morning. A third brushing during the day is also good (but see below). You should use a soft-bristled brush and exert a firm but gentle pressure. If the bristles on your brush are constantly ending up bent, you’re brushing too hard. Brush for at least two minutes, and it’s often recommended that you use small, circular motions of the brush. Consider switching to an electric toothbrush.

If you are brushing during the middle of the day, here are some tips to avoid damaging your teeth. If you have acidic foods or drinks with lunch, don’t brush your teeth right away. Instead, rinse your teeth with water and wait half an hour before brushing. For the third or any additional teeth brushing, brush with water only to avoid too much abrasive exposure.

Of course, the best hygiene routine for you depends on your oral health and habits. For customized recommendations, please contact Dr. James B. Polley in Las Vegas today.