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Can Brushing My Teeth Too Hard Cause My Gums to Recede?

Can Brushing My Teeth Too Hard Cause My Gums to Recede?

March 23rd, 2022

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy smile. However, excessively harsh brushing can sometimes be detrimental to the health of your teeth and gums. Talk to your trusted team at Avalon Dental Care about proper brushing techniques for long-term healthy smiles!

How Does Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard Harm Your Gums?

Overzealous tooth brushing can be hard on your gum tissues, causing them to recede or shrink back. A classic sign of gum recession is exposed tooth roots or teeth that look longer than usual, interfering with the appearance of your smile. Gum recession can leave you at risk of developing tooth-root decay and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures as well as many outside stimuli.

Vigorous brushing doesn’t only cause gum recession. It can also result in tooth enamel wear. While tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, the pressure it endures by brushing too hard can slowly erode it, causing irreparable damage. The result is usually dark or yellowish-looking teeth, increased tooth sensitivity, and a higher risk of developing tooth decay and cavities.

How Can You Tell Whether You’re Brushing Too Hard?

One way to determine whether you’re brushing your teeth too hard is to examine your toothbrush. If the bristles are flat and frayed while still new, you may be brushing too hard. Symptoms of harsh brushing include sore or bleeding gums, seeing more of your teeth when you smile because of receding gums, and dull teeth due to enamel wear.

How Should You Brush Your Teeth?

Here are some tips for safe and effective tooth brushing:

  • Use an American Dental Association-approved high-quality, soft-bristled manual or electric toothbrush.
  • Brush your teeth thoroughly but gently at least twice a day for two minutes.
  • Brush your teeth in a circular, up-and-down pattern with the toothbrush held at a 45-degree angle against your gum line.
  • Make sure you brush your gum line and your tongue. 
  • To prevent mold and germs from growing on your toothbrush, store it in an open container.
  • Swap your toothbrush for a new one about every three months, or even sooner if the bristles become frayed, flat, or damaged.

Quality Preventive Dentistry in El Segundo and Lomita

Visit Avalon Dental to learn more about proper tooth brushing techniques for long-term healthy smiles. Make sure you also schedule your routine dental exams and cleanings. Together, we’ll make sure to keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape. Call us and schedule your appointment today!

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