Can You Brush Your Teeth Too Much?

October 1, 2019

woman brushing her teethNormally, your dentist is on top of you to brush and floss twice a day, but is there such a thing as too much brushing?

Some people enjoy an afternoon brush after lunch, prior to an important event or just when their teeth are feeling particularly fuzzy. Fortunately for those avid brushers, there is nothing wrong with that!

The only way you can really damage your chompers is if your technique is too aggressive. Let’s discuss how you can make sure your brush and technique aren’t creating a problem for your mouth.

Bristle Check

Isn’t it nice to begin brushing with a fresh toothbrush? Their design offers zero rough edges and smooth nylon cylinders for a non-abrasive feel. Unfortunately, as we wear down our brush, smooth corners become jagged and we are more inclined to experience painful teeth and gums.

Once you see signs of wear, it’s time for a new brush. We typically recommend a brush switch every 6 months, but it could be sooner depending on how often you brush throughout the day.

Not All Brushes Are the Same

Worn bristles can cause your teeth harm, but the same goes for a newly designed brush. Companies are constantly designing new brushes and bristles that vary in feel. Although you may think trading in your soft-bristled brush for a more aggressive hard-bristled one is the way to go, you still want to protect your teeth!

Most dentists recommend a soft-bristled brush because it provides substantial cleaning results while still keep your teeth and gums happy.

It’s All About Technique

Even if you are doing everything else correct, your brushing technique matters tremendously. Many of us rush through the process and brush harder or hit the front of our teeth and forget about the back.

The best way to go about brushing is to consider you are scrubbing your teeth. Use small, circular motions starting at the gum line, holding your brush at a 45-degree angle for the front of your teeth and a direct angle where you chew. For the backs of your teeth, use vertical strokes going back and forth.

As much as you may feel inclined to brush immediately after you eat, its best to wait at least 30 minutes. Waiting allows you the pH levels in your mouth to balance out which protects your enamel.

We love to hear when our patients are passionate about brushing their teeth; as long as you have the technique down and the right brush for the job, happy brushing!

For more about brushing, read our take on the age old question: electrical or manual toothbrush?