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If you are diligent about your oral health, brushing your teeth at least twice and flossing once a day must be a part of your routine. Some people brush after every meal to dislodge food particles and remove plaque. So, is it reasonable to brush your teeth more than twice a day? Does it help prevent dental diseases? Let us learn more about this.
Can You Overbrush Your Teeth?
Yes! Too much of anything is bad. You may end up brushing your teeth excessively in terms of time and technique. It means brushing your teeth aggressively or for too long may impact your teeth adversely.
How Often Is Too Much Brushing?
Brushing your teeth more than three times a day may damage your teeth, especially when you brush vigorously, for a longer duration, or use a hard-bristled brush. Brushing immediately after eating acidic foods may also harm your teeth. Wait for 60 minutes before brushing your teeth after drinking or eating acidic foods.
How Do You Know You Are Overbrushing?
The following are the signs of overbrushing your teeth.
1. Enamel Loss
Brushing too much or too hard may eventually wear teeth down, leading to weakening and loss of enamel. Enamel loss begins with dental abrasion, i.e., tooth structure loss due to external pressure from a foreign object. Signs of abrasion include yellow or brown spots on teeth, shiny marks, and wedge or V-shaped dents on the gum line.
2. Tooth Sensitivity
When tooth abrasion deepens, it exposes the dentin layer's nerve endings, causing tooth sensitivity. It leads to problems, pain, and discomfort when you brush your teeth or consume hot, cold, sour, or sweet foods or drinks.
3. Gum Recession
Have you heard of overbrushed gums? Yes! That, too, happens when you brush your teeth too much. It exposes the softer cementum of the root, causing pain and sensitivity and raising the risk of decay.
How To Prevent Overbrushing?
Brushing correctly is easy and simple. Here's a mini guide.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Also, change your toothbrush every three months because a frayed toothbrush may cause minor gum injury and impede proper dental cleaning.
- Do not brush too forcefully. Brushing should always have a light touch.
- Avoid toothpastes with abrasive agents such as calcium carbonate, calcium pyrophosphate, sodium metaphosphate, and zirconium silicate. Instead, for healthy teeth, use toothpastes with calcium and fluoride.