YES, OF COURSE… Brushing your teeth regularly and thoroughly is an important component of lifelong oral health! But, did you also know that there’s some important techniques to brushing your teeth? It’s not something often talked about… Not exactly common dinner conversation!
Here at By The Sea Dentistry, as we treat you and your family, one of the things we often notice (although well intentioned) is that some of you just brush your teeth too hard.
Among other problems, brushing too hard can cause tooth sensitivity. According to the AGD (Academy of General Dentistry), sensitivity affects millions of people in this country. There are lots of other possible reasons for sensitivity as well, including drinking acidic beverages and eating acidic foods—but your aggressive brushing techniques may be one of the causes.
If the protective layer of enamel over your teeth becomes eroded, and/or your gumline recedes from the habit of brushing too hard, the softer tissue (called the dentin) can become exposed. Dentin is connected to your tooth’s nerves which can cause sensitivity and pain.
There are also some whitening products and mouthwashes that can contribute. And of course, if you have a problem such as a cracked tooth, this can be causing pain as well (word to the wise—keep your regularly scheduled checkup appointments! We can catch things before they become a problem).
So, what can you do?
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Hold that toothbrush in your fingertips—not like a construction worker might hold a hammer!
- Brush gently.
- Try a desensitizing toothpaste.
- Use your toothbrush at a forty-five degree angle.
- Brush in circular motions.
Speaking of fun… There are some creative folks at an ad agency called Richter 7 who made this fun little video clip. Wow… And you were wondering if YOU’RE brushing too hard?!