5 Signs You’re Overbrushing

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October 11, 2016

Brushing your teeth is essential, but it’s easy to go overboard. As many as 88% of us brush our teeth too much, which ironically lead to the very dental health problems we’re trying to avoid. Here are five signs to look out for if you’re concerned about overbrushing.

1. Bleeding gums

If you see a streak of red every time you spit, you may be damaging your gums by pressing too hard or overbrushing. Bleeding gums often happens when the thinnest layer of gum over the tooth is irritated and damaged, which can happen when you brush too often to let the gum heal itself. If you have dental implants, you may have damaged the sensitive layer of gum and exposed the abutment of the implant. Pay close attention and see your dentist whenever you think your gums may be damaged.

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2. Sensitive teeth

If you have had sensitive teeth in the past and achieved relief through medicated toothpastes or dental treatments, yet see the sensitivity return every few weeks, you could be overbrushing. Brushing too vigorously or too often wears away the tooth’s protective enamel coating, exposing sensitive nerves to cold and hot temperatures. Oral health professionals will be able to tell right away if your tooth enamel is damaged, and can offer advice on how to fix the problem.

3. Brushing after meals

In a somewhat cruel irony, the advice many of us were given when we were younger has been shown to do more to damage teeth than protect them. Some of us still brush after every single meal, in addition to just after waking up and just before bed, meaning those people brush a staggering 5-6 times a day. Not only does the regular brushing damage tooth enamel and may irritate gums, brushing after a meal means teeth are being worn down when acid levels are at their highest. Sugary and acidic foods will soften the enamel during the course of a meal, and brushing afterwards only wears teeth down faster. Lessen the harmful effects by brushing before a meal, if you feel you must, but this is no longer considered essential.

4. Orthodontic problems

Orthodontic treatments cause many to become paranoid about their teeth. While it is true that braces and dental implants need extra care to remain healthy, overbrushing can cause even more damage. Don’t run the risk of misaligning your braces, knocking dental bridges or wearing down cosmetic treatments as this will only mean more visits to your dentist and potentially complicate future treatments. If you’re experiencing problems with your orthodontics, please drop into our Glasgow clinic and one of our dentists will be happy to advise you.

old-toothbrushes5. Damage to your toothbrush

Dental experts recommend changing your toothbrush every 3-4 weeks, as bristles will wear down in that time creating minute serrated edges which damage teeth’s surface. New toothbrushes are manufactured to have bristles with rounded tips, which are easier on teeth and more effective for cleaning. If you find you’re replacing your toothbrush more frequently, it could be a sign of overbrushing. Watch for ‘splaying’ bristles, a sure sign that you’re pressing too hard or brushing too frequently.

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