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Brushed teeth too hard: The Harmful Effects of Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard

The Harmful Effects of Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard

The Harmful Effects of Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard

(203) 575-9097

26 Lakeside Blvd E
Waterbury, CT 06708

June 9, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — drmarini @ 6:06 pm

Are you serious about protecting oral hygiene? You may diligently use a mouthwash, floss once a day, and brush twice a day. You certainly deserve commendation for your good habits! However, there are cases in which individuals have become too enthusiastic about oral hygiene; they may apply too much pressure when they brush their teeth. A dentist in Waterbury is here to explain how overaggressive brushing can harm your smile and how you can apply proper brushing technique.

What Happens if You Brush Too Hard?

Brushing your teeth too hard can have two devastating consequences for your oral health:

  • Premature wear and tear. Tooth enamel is very hard — in fact, it is the hardest substance in the human body. However, it can get worn away by overaggressive brushing. Applying too much pressure may slowly erode your enamel, which cannot repair itself once it suffers significant damage. You may experience increased dental sensitivity and a heightened risk of cavities.
  • Gum recession. Brushing too hard can cause the gum tissue to shrink back. Not only will this affect the way your smile looks, but if the recession progresses far enough, the roots of your teeth may become exposed. Tooth roots are much more sensitive to outside stimuli and may be more prone to decay than the top portion of teeth because they have no enamel to protect them.

Proper Brushing Technique

If your toothbrush bristles become frayed very quickly, or your gums are often sore after your brush, there is a good chance that you are applying too much pressure. Here are some tips to help you properly clean your teeth:

  • Make sure you are using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle against your teeth and use short, tooth-wide strokes.
  • You should feel the bristles against your gums, but you should never “smash” them down.
  • Holding your toothbrush in your non-dominant hand may help you to lighten up on the amount of pressure you apply.
  • If you use an electric toothbrush, you do not have to press it hard against your teeth; just make sure it makes contact with them.
  • The next time you receive a professional dental service, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for tips on how you can improve your at-home oral hygiene routine. They will be happy to give you some pointers.

Your toothbrush is one of your best friends in your efforts to maintain sound oral health… but only if you use it properly. Use the above tips to make sure you are being gentle on your smile.

About the Author

Dr. Luciano Marini is the leader of our team at Waterbury Smiles. He is a Waterbury native and has been in private practice since 1986. He provides a broad range of treatments, from preventive care to complex procedures. If you would like Dr. Marini’s help to improve or maintain your oral health, or if you would like to learn more about our practice, contact our team at 203-575-9097.

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Are You Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard?

Brushing your teeth incorrectly can lead to problems like tooth sensitivity and enamel wear. Here’s the right way to do it.

By Lisa HaneyMedically Reviewed by Elizabeth V. Simpson, DMD


Medically Reviewed

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for a full two minutes twice a day, and be sure to relax your grip.Tatiana Maksimova/Getty Images

When it comes to brushing your teeth, there is such a thing as proper technique. Brushing too hard — or using the wrong toothbrush — can damage your teeth and gums, leading to problems like enamel wear and receding gums, which can in turn lead to tooth sensitivity, says Gene Romo, DDS, a dentist in Chicago.

“People tend to brush aggressively, thinking it’s the only way they can get their teeth to feel clean and look whiter,” Dr. Romo says. “That’s counterproductive, because not only does it cause recession of your gums, but you’re also wearing away the white, glossy enamel on your teeth, making them look yellow and darker.”

Not sure if you’re brushing too hard? Take a look at your toothbrush. If you’ve been using it for three months or less, it should still appear relatively new. “If it looks beat-up and flat, that’s a sign you’re brushing way too hard,” Romo says.

The Proper Way to Brush Your Teeth

It will require some mindfulness, but you can change your hard-brushing ways, Romo says. Follow these proper-brushing tips and you’ll relieve tooth sensitivity and prevent damage to your teeth and gums.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Choose one with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal and replace it every three or four months — or sooner if it frays, according to the ADA. The size and shape of your toothbrush should fit your mouth well so you can reach all areas easily, adds the ADA.

Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. That way, the bristles can reach and clean underneath your gumline, Romo says.

Gently move the brush back and forth. Use short, tooth-wide strokes to clean the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of the teeth, the ADA recommends. To clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth, tilt your brush vertically and use up-and-down strokes. If you’re using an electric toothbrush, let it do all the work and just lightly glide it over your teeth instead of pushing it against them. To make sure you’re using a gentle grip, try holding your toothbrush in your nondominant hand.

Slow down. Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for two full minutes twice a day to prevent plaque and cavities, according to the ADA. “For people who have never tried it, it can feel like an eternity. You don’t really know what two minutes feels like until you actually brush that long,” Romo says. But when you’re not rushing to finish, it will keep you more mindful about brushing gently.

Choose the Right Toothpaste (and Floss)

It’s also important to use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste to help prevent cavities, per the ADA. Be sure to choose a toothpaste with the ADA seal, which means it has been tested and proven to contain enough fluoride to protect your teeth. You can find options on the ADA’s website.

To keep your mouth healthy and clean, the ADA also recommends the following tips:

  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
  • Floss once a day to remove tooth-decay-causing bacteria between the teeth, where your toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Limit sugary beverages and snacks and eat a balanced diet.
  • See your dentist regularly (at least once or twice a year, in some cases more) to prevent and treat oral disease.

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Dental hyperesthesia | Dentistry “Pro-Dent”, Yekaterinburg

Now more and more patients began to notice that they have an acute sensitivity of the teeth, every second person experiences a feeling of discomfort. The degree of pain is varied. Sudden onset of pain can be either minor or with a significant manifestation of pain, acute or aching, intense, pulsating, prolonged or instantly passing. Teeth react sharply to any kind of irritants. Acute sensitivity is also noted when cold air enters the teeth during breathing during the cold season. A sip of hot coffee can also be an irritant. It causes sudden pain when eating sour, spicy, sweet, cold, hot foods. Unpleasant symptoms are manifested when brushing teeth, the occurrence of pain in the gingival region.

But more often than not, a person does not immediately go to the doctor, but thinks it will go away by itself, but pains appear for a short time and quickly pass. The manifestation of hyperesthesia subsides, the teeth stop responding to stimuli, a period of remission begins. A visit to the dentist is postponed until later. But after a visible “calm”, pain sensations manifest themselves with renewed vigor, a period of exacerbation begins. Heightened sensitivity causes a lot of trouble, despite the fact that outwardly the teeth look absolutely healthy. In the absence of proper treatment, hyperesthesia can provoke inflammation of the nerve of the dental pulp. The inflammatory process requires medical treatment.

Hypersensitivity of the hard tissues of the teeth can appear at any age. It is diagnosed in every second patient. Most often these are people aged 25 to 50 years, mostly women. Older people and children suffer much less often due to the fact that in older people the dentin is sclerosed, and in children the dentin has little damage and therefore does not cause pain.

Hyperesthesia is a disease of non-carious origin. Hyperesthesia is an increased sensitivity of the hard tissues of the tooth, provoked by the action of temperature, chemical, and mechanical stimuli.

The causes of dental hyperesthesia can be different:

  • Hyperesthesia is accompanied by a pathology of non-carious origin, such as increased abrasion of hard dental tissues in diseases of the temporomandibular joint, musculoskeletal system, enamel erosion.
  • For wedge-shaped defects, when brushing is accompanied by aggressive brushing, excessive pressure on the toothbrush, or only brushing in a reciprocating motion, when using very hard toothbrushes. Enamel loss and dentin exposure occurs.
  • When cracks, chips, cracks appear on the enamel on the teeth, the integrity of the enamel is violated as a result of eating hot and or cold foods, with an injury when biting on a hard particle in the product.
  • The appearance of hypersensitivity also occurs with the development of initial caries, when under the action of acids there is a violation of the permeability of the enamel, which leads to its demineralization, most often this occurs in the cervical region.
  • Dental hypersensitivity may also occur after dental caries treatment. This is due to violations of the technology of tooth preparation for restoration.
  • Also, hypersensitivity can occur with the abuse of whitening toothpastes, with unprofessional or frequent teeth whitening. There is a loss of micro and macro elements from the enamel under the action of chemicals. The enamel becomes porous, like a sponge, its permeability increases, which leads to tooth hypersensitivity with a slight action of various kinds of irritants.
  • Congenital weakness of enamel, untreated carious teeth, leads to increased pain.
  • In periodontal disease, gum recession occurs and the neck and root of the tooth are exposed.
  • In case of mechanical injuries, during traumatic professional teeth cleaning, when the enamel is damaged by tools and the enamel is not polished.
  • In a pathological state of the body, when hyperesthesia is caused by somatic pathology: psychoneuroses, diseases of the endocrine system, gastrointestinal tract, metabolic disorders, pregnancy, menopause, hormonal changes.
  • With negative exposure to ionizing radiation.

Mechanism of occurrence of hyperesthesia

Dentin is a dental tissue penetrated by thin tubules filled with liquid, in which nerve cells are located, connected to the tooth pulp. The fluid in the tubules is constantly in motion. Changing the speed of its movement cause pain. Healthy enamel closes the dentinal tubules and protects the tooth from external influences. Even with a slight damage to the integrity of the enamel, or its thinning, there is an increase in sensitivity. There is a feeling of discomfort and pain. Tooth enamel is very sensitive to external negative influences. Lack of vitamins and minerals due to malnutrition disrupts the pH balance and leads to the destruction of the protective layer of enamel.

The negative effect and destruction of enamel comes from the excessive consumption of harmful products, such as soda, acidic foods. Newfangled diets, which include the use of a large number of foods containing acids, such as fresh (freshly squeezed juices on an empty stomach), eating 2 kg of apples, grapes during the day. Abuse of soy sauces.

Also adversely affects enamel:

  • The use of hard toothbrushes and highly abrasive toothpastes (whitening pastes), their incorrect use.
  • Non-observance of hygiene rules.
  • Refusal to treat dental problems and visit the dentist.

Bad habits also have a negative impact, which lead to the formation of cracks in the enamel and a violation of its integrity. Clenching teeth, grinding teeth, biting off a thread, biting a pencil, cracking nuts and seeds.

Clinical manifestations

There are 3 stages of manifestation of the disease:

  • Stage 1, initial, in which the pain is of low intensity, the tooth reacts only to temperature stimuli.
  • Stage 2, medium manifestations to temperature and chemical irritants.
  • stage 3 deep damage to tooth enamel, the tooth reacts sharply to all types of stimuli, including tactile ones. Eating and talking is accompanied by pain, increased salivation is noted, a person takes a forced position, in which the cheeks are minimally in contact with the teeth. Brushing your teeth becomes very painful and difficult, in some cases impossible. As a result, hard plaque (tartar) forms on the teeth, inflammation of the gums occurs, which leads to their bleeding and destructive changes in periodontal tissues. The occurrence of multiple dental caries.

There are many preventive methods to prevent the development of such a disease, to preserve and maintain healthy and beautiful teeth:

  • these are prophylactic toothpastes, gels, elixirs, rinses, multivitamin complexes, calcium preparations.
  • When a patient complains of pain from thermal stimuli, to cold and hot, in this case, means are needed to seal the dentinal tubules in order to prevent the manifestation of painful sensations. With this technique, preparations are used that contain citrates, calcium, fluorine and magnesium ions, they form compounds that clog the dentinal tubules, compacting and rebuilding the structure of the dentin, thereby achieving a cessation of the flow of dental fluid and restoring pressure inside the tubules.
  • When the patient is treated at a later period, when the manifestations of hyperesthesia are caused not only by thermal irritants, but also by structural violations of the integrity of the enamel (chips, cracks are visualized) and deeper layers are involved in the process, therapeutic treatment with modern filling materials is required, restoration of defects and carious foci.

General methods aimed at preventing the development of hyperesthesia of dental hard tissues:

  • Maintain oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least 2 times a day, after breakfast. 40 minutes after eating and at night before going to bed.
  • Use of non-abrasive toothpastes.
  • Use of toothbrushes of medium hardness, or soft, depending on the intensity of pain, to prevent injury to the teeth and gingival margin. Toothbrushes should be selected with rounded or smooth bristle tips. On a toothbrush, all tufts of bristles should be evenly trimmed. It’s best to choose a toothbrush that has a straight handle and no pressure control zigzag. Try to brush your teeth without pressure on the toothbrush and extra effort.
  • It is necessary to abandon the use of whitening toothpastes, tooth powders, which in their composition contain abrasive particles that injure tooth enamel.
  • It is better to use toothpastes designed for sensitive teeth such as SENSODYNE, Biorepair, Colgate Total, Colgate Maximum, Asepta.
  • It is recommended to periodically change toothpastes to increase the effectiveness of their composition on tooth tissues.
  • Adhere to proper nutrition. The diet should contain foods containing the minerals calcium and fluoride. Dairy products, cheese. Dried vobla is very rich in calcium and fluorine. It is rational to use citrus fruits, apples, grapes, salty, sour, spicy and sweet. After taking such products, it is recommended to rinse the mouth with a mouthwash.
  • After brushing your teeth, rinses should be used, such as Colgate, Forest Balsam.

Treatment of dental hyperesthesia

Treatment is a complex process that includes the elimination of all causes that cause the manifestation and development of hyperesthesia of hard dental tissues.

Enamel fluoridation (deep dentine fluoridation) helps with discomfort.

In case of hyperesthesia caused by increased abrasion of hard dental tissues, orthopedic dental treatment is performed.

If the disease is caused by inflammation of the gums and its recession, exposing the neck and root of the tooth, surgical treatment is necessary. Gingival tightening and strengthening.

When hypersensitivity occurs after caries treatment, this indicates the development of an inflammatory process in the pulp of a tooth that needs endodontic root canal treatment.

If there is an increased sensitivity of the tooth after the whitening procedure, the tooth needs a protective coating with fluoride varnishes and calcium-containing gels, desensitizers, electrophoresis with a solution of calcium glycerophosphate.

If hyperesthesia is caused by wearing a bracket system, a course of applications of fluorine and calcium salts and coating of teeth with sodium and potassium fluoride varnish is necessary.

Regular and correct use of oral care products, maintaining a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle will help eliminate discomfort and prevent the development of hyperesthesia and its complications.

The correct diagnosis and effective treatment can only be established after an examination by a dentist.

Do not forget and do not neglect regular preventive visits to the dentist. At least once every six months.

The article was prepared by a dentist of the first category Kolchurina Elena Valerievna.

Brushing Mistakes – Dental Care Rules at Home

Daily oral hygiene is the very first and basic measure that we must regularly perform to maintain healthy teeth and a beautiful smile. Proper oral care begins with proper brushing of the teeth daily, as well as other dental care practices that must be remembered every day.

Since oral hygiene is performed daily, this procedure becomes a matter of course for most people. And almost every one of our patients makes mistakes when brushing their teeth. After all, not everything is as simple as it seems at first glance.

Dentists say that the effectiveness of oral hygiene depends not only on the frequency of the toothbrushing procedure, but also on how it is done. In this article, we have collected the main brushing mistakes people make on a daily basis.

Mistakes when choosing a toothbrush

The range of toothbrushes today is greater than ever, and this confuses many people: how not to make a mistake when choosing a toothbrush? First, determine how your gums react to environmental influences. If your gums are sensitive and bleeding, then it is a mistake to buy a toothbrush with hard bristles, because it can injure the gum tissue.

The most optimal option, according to doctors, is to buy a brush with bristles of medium hardness or, in case of increased sensitivity of the gums and teeth, with soft bristles.

The most common mistake when choosing a toothbrush is buying it on the basis of only “external” data – beautiful packaging, multifunctionality, high price. Indeed, you should not buy brushes of little-known brands, but the “tricked out” of a toothbrush does not mean that it will suit you. Think – do you need, for example, flavored bristles? Indeed, in most cases, such bristles do not increase the effectiveness of brushing your teeth. But a special pad for cleaning the tongue will come in handy, because the hygiene of the tongue also needs to be carried out twice a day.

Many people mistakenly think that the requirement to change the brush at least every three months is conditional. This is not so – it is very important to strictly observe the change of brushes. Bacteria accumulate on the bristles of a toothbrush within three months, so the brush must be changed regularly. It is also necessary to change the brush immediately after a viral illness.

Some people have a stereotype that an electric toothbrush is better than a regular one. No, it is not, and both electric and toothbrushes have both their pros and cons. According to dentists, in terms of efficiency, only those electric toothbrushes are better than ordinary toothbrushes, the bundles of fibers of which rotate in different directions. Other electric toothbrushes differ from conventional ones only in that they treat one specific tooth when brushing – you can say that this is a “lazy” brushing option.

Mistakes when choosing toothpaste

The situation with toothpastes is similar to toothbrushes – the choice is large, and a person is lost in such an assortment. Often the choice of toothpaste occurs only on the basis of some subjective preferences. It is important to know some of the features of toothpastes in order not to make a mistake with the choice.

Here they are:

  • in case of diseases of the teeth and weakened enamel, the use of whitening toothpastes is highly undesirable;
  • if you have no contraindications to the use of whitening toothpastes, then they still cannot be used constantly, alternate them with regular toothpastes;
  • if your enamel is oversaturated with fluorine, then refrain from buying toothpaste with this component.

There are no other categorical requirements for toothpastes. The only exception is the case when you suffer from any disease of the oral cavity – then the attending dentist can recommend a specific toothpaste to you.

If you are in doubt about whether you brush your teeth correctly or not, whether you have chosen the right oral care products, contact our dentists for advice. Maybe it’s time for you to have a checkup? Make an appointment by calling 8 (495) 033-00-63 or through our website by filling out the registration form.

Mistakes when brushing teeth

Frequent brushing

Teeth should be brushed twice a day – in the morning and in the evening – and this dental rule is not in doubt. But few people know that frequent brushing of teeth can also harm the condition of the oral cavity.

In addition to brushing your teeth in the morning and in the evening, you can brush your teeth, if necessary, once more during the day, for example, half an hour after eating citrus fruits or sweets. You should not brush your teeth more than three times a day – this injures and thins the tooth enamel, and can also injure the gums.

It is also important not to overdo it when brushing your teeth. Do not brush your teeth too actively – the movements should be soft and smooth to avoid causing damage to the enamel and gums.

Quick Brush

Brush your teeth for at least three minutes each time. Thus, each tooth must be treated for at least ten seconds. A quick, minute brushing of the teeth does not bring the desired effect.

It is also important when brushing your teeth to remember to pay attention to the surface of the tongue, where harmful microbes also accumulate. If your gums are strong and not bleeding, give a short gum massage with a toothbrush to complete your oral hygiene.

Incorrect start of brushing

Brushing your teeth does not always have to start from the same place. For convenience, visually divide the oral cavity and dentition into four zones. Try to alternate the start of brushing your teeth from different areas. The fact is that a person simply gets used to brushing his teeth, starting from one area, and the last areas are cleaned both in time and in efficiency less than the first ones. In order to avoid such an uneven distribution of forces, it is necessary to alternate the beginning of brushing your teeth from different areas of the oral cavity.

Incorrect movements when brushing teeth

Perhaps the most common mistake when brushing teeth. Many people brush their teeth “how to” without a clear system of movements with a toothbrush. Meanwhile, there are strict rules about how the toothbrush should move when brushing the mouth.

The brush should be held at a forty-five degree angle when brushing your teeth. Movement should be vertical – from the gums to the crown of the teeth. If you clean the upper dentition, then the movements are directed from top to bottom, if the lower dentition, the movements are directed from bottom to top. Horizontal movements can injure both gums and enamel.

Proper brushing of teeth

When brushing teeth, it is important to follow the correct sequence. First you need to clean the teeth from the outside, then from the inside, then clean the chewing surface of the teeth.

Many people find that brushing the outside of their teeth and chewing surfaces is enough. This is a big mistake. The inner side of the teeth, in contact with the tongue, must be cleaned no less carefully. Contact with the tongue promotes the active accumulation of bacteria, so these areas should never be skipped. Dentists say that especially often when cleaning the oral cavity, the inner side of the front teeth is skipped.

The only place where it is possible to make horizontal movements with a toothbrush is the chewing surface of the teeth, because it is simply impossible to clean a horizontal surface with vertical movements.

Tongue Cleaning

We have repeatedly mentioned that tongue cleaning is just as important as brushing your teeth. Harmful microbes accumulate in large numbers not only on the tooth surface, but also on the surface of the tongue. You can clean your tongue with a special toothbrush surface designed for this, but it is better to use special tongue cleaners that you can buy at a pharmacy.

When brushing your tongue, try not to make the following mistake – brushing the farthest part of the tongue with a lot of pressure – this can cause an unpleasant gag reflex or a dangerous coughing fit.

Insufficient rinsing

After you have brushed your teeth and tongue, you should rinse your mouth as thoroughly as possible so that there are no particles of toothpaste left in your mouth. To complete the cleaning of the teeth, you can rinse with special solutions for the oral cavity. They not only have a beneficial effect on the teeth and gums, but also additionally freshen the breath.

Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after brushing your teeth to clean it of food debris that inevitably gets into the bristles while brushing your mouth, as well as to remove toothpaste residue.

Toothbrush storage

It is very important to store your toothbrush properly. In no case should it be constantly wet – this provokes the growth of bacteria. Shake your toothbrush well after brushing your teeth to reduce the dampness of your toothbrush bristles.