Many people have asked their dentist the question “can you brush your teeth too much?” The answer is yes. However, it is extremely unlikely to damage your enamel, the outermost portion of your tooth. Brushing your teeth too often can damage your gums, dentin, and cementum causing pain and tooth sensitivity. However, not brushing enough can also cause problems, so finding the right balance is key. In this article, we will discuss the dangers of brushing your teeth too often, and provide some tips on how to find the perfect brushing schedule for you!
What Does Brushing Your Teeth Too Much Do?
When you brush your teeth, you are typically scrubbing the enamel that covers your teeth. Enamel is the hardest substance in your body, and is unlikely to be worn down over time. As a result too much brushing typically effects the teeth in a different way.
The first effects of brushing your teeth too much is damaging your gums. When you brush too hard or too often you can cause microtrauma to the gums. This can lead to gum recession, which is when your gums start to pull away from your teeth. Gum recession will expose the cementum of the teeth. Cementum helps connect your tooth to the bone.
Wearing Down Cementum
Once the gums have recessed brushing your teeth too much will begin wear down the cementum. This is because the cementum is much softer than the enamel.
If your cementum is worn down it will expose dentin. Dentin is the layer of your tooth that is underneath the enamel. However, below the gumline, dentin is not protected by enamel. Dentin is both less dense than enamel and has nerve endings. This means that it both sensitive to touch and can be more easily damaged by brushing.
Wearing Down Dentin
Once you have reached the dentin brushing your teeth too much can wear down dentin. Dentin is much softer than enamel, so it can be worn away over time. This can lead to further tooth sensitivity and pain.
Finding the Right Balance: How to Brush Your Teeth
The best way to avoid damaging your teeth from brushing is to find the right balance. You should brush often enough to remove plaque and bacteria, but not so often that you damage your gums or tooth enamel.
There are a few things you can do to find the perfect balance for you:
- Brush twice a day: You should brush at least twice a day to remove plaque and bacteria. This is the ideal number of times to brush your teeth.
- Floss at least once a day (recommended twice): Flossing can help remove plaque and bacteria from areas that your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Use a soft bristled toothbrush: A soft bristled toothbrush will be less likely to damage your dentin and gums.
- Use gentle circular motions: Using gentle circular motions will help remove plaque without damaging your teeth.
- Don’t brush too hard: Brushing too hard can damage your dentin and gums. Try to use gentle pressure when brushing.
- Use fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride toothpaste can help protect your teeth from damage.
- Don’t use abrasive toothpaste: Abrasive toothpaste will wear away dentin.
- Visit your dentist regularly: Visiting your dentist regularly can help you keep your teeth healthy.
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No two mouths are the same, and each oral situation is unique. As such, it isn’t possible to give comprehensive advice or diagnose oral conditions based on articles alone. The best way to ensure you’re getting the best dental care possible is to visit a dentist in person for an examination and consultation.