When we see a stain on tile grout or caked-on food on our dishes, the natural instinct is to scrub at it – the harder, the better. But while this usually helps to remove stains from some hard surfaces, it doesn’t apply to all of them: especially the teeth. Here’s why when it comes to brushing your teeth, scrubbing harder isn’t always better.
You want whiter teeth, but you see stains, food debris or discoloration. You know that when you go to the dentist, your teeth usually get the royal treatment with a dental pick and a power brush head. So naturally, the more pressure, the better, right? Ideally, you should be able to scrub the stains out with a hard-bristled brush and a heavy hand, but this simply isn’t the case.
The truth is, the harder your brush and the harder you scrub, the worse it is for your teeth.
One reason brushing with a hard-bristled brush or brushing too vigorously is dangerous for the teeth is that it can cause damage to your tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the hard coating that surrounds the outside of your teeth, and unfortunately tooth enamel is irreplaceable. This means that if or when you scratch it, you can’t grow it back. In other words, that damage is permanent.
Did you know that scrubbing your teeth too hard and brushing your gums and gum line too hard are dangerous to your gums? It’s true! Overbrushing the gums can cause problems such as gum recession down the line. Gum recession exposes more of your teeth, and makes them look longer. It can also cause problems such as gum and tooth sensitivity, which can make eating hot or cold foods very painful. It can also increase your risk of needing a gum-grafting procedure, which is also unpleasant and definitely something to avoid if possible!
What’s the Solution?
The solution to overscrubbing your teeth is to not just use a lighter touch while you brush, but to also use a softer-bristled brush. We recommend you use a medium-bristled brush on adult teeth. If you see your bristles fanning out very far, chances are you’re brushing too hard – even with a softer bristle.
The other solution is to visit Dr. Abelar at least once a year for your annual exam and cleaning. He has the right tools to get your teeth clean, without causing damage to your teeth and gums.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Abelar, please call the office at 858-523-1400.