May 14th, 2015
We love to see our patients taking care of their teeth with proper brushing habits. While most people brush twice a day, we do get some asking if they can brush their teeth too much and damage their teeth that way. Many people are surprised to hear our answer: yes, you can actually brush too much. But before you start cutting down your time with your toothbrush, keep reading to find out exactly what brushing too much means.
Over-Brushing: What Happens If You Brush Your Teeth Too Much?
While brushing regularly is extremely important, you can brush so much that you harm yourself. According to the Wall Street Journal, between 10% and 12% of the population have damaged their teeth or gums due to over brushing. This damage results in sensitive teeth, receding gums and wear around your tooth’s root.
If you brush your teeth excessively more than the suggested two times a day for three minutes each time, your teeth may become sensitive. This sensitivity could be a result of worn down enamel caused by over-brushing. You could also have pushed back your gums and exposed the root area of your teeth, which is sensitive.
The best way to stop this type of damage from getting worse is to cut back on brushing, apply less pressure and use a brush with a softer bristle. Enamel remineralization treatment can also help to make your teeth less sensitive. In the worst case scenario, gum grafts can help fix receding gums by covering up the sensitive teeth roots with soft tissue from the roof of your mouth.
How Much is Too Much?
The best way to avoid all of the problems that come with brushing your teeth too much is to avoid over-brushing. Though we usually recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, it can be beneficial to lightly brush after lunch or sugary snacks, waiting a minimum of 30 minutes. Still, try to avoid brushing more than three times a day for three minutes each time on a regular basis. When you do brush, don’t use hard bristles that can easily damage your teeth and gums, and don’t apply too much pressure. A gentle, circular brushing motion on each of your teeth two times a day should keep your smile clean and glistening.
Why Is Brushing Your Teeth So Important?
Brushing your teeth with toothpaste is essential to your oral health. Every morning and night, you should spend at least two to three minutes brushing your teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. We recommend using an electronic toothbrush because they tend to be more effective at breaking up plaque than traditional brushes. For proper brushing technique, take a look at our article here.
By brushing correctly, you’re breaking down the plaque that eats away at your teeth and causes cavities. But it’s not only your teeth that benefit from brushing. Your gums do too. Plaque also causes a gum disease called gingivitis, which makes your gums sore and swollen and can lead to more serious complications in the future. So if you have a good brushing technique, keep it up!
If you have any more questions about how much you should brush your teeth, what toothbrush you should buy, or brushing technique, don’t be afraid to contact us! Everyone’s smile is different, so we may have some tips that are unique to you and aren’t covered in this article. After all, it’s our job to keep your individual smile healthy and bright!