Proper oral hygiene is crucial if you want to have a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Brushing and flossing regularly helps fight cavities and tooth decay, and keeps your smile looking great. As many patients who come to our Corpus Christi restorative dentistry center can attest, we take at-home preventative care seriously.
It's with this in mind that we want to consider the right way and the wrong way to brush your teeth. Many patients may be surprised to learn that they've been doing it wrong for many, many years.
There's a Wrong Way to Brush Your Teeth
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, though ideally you should brush your teeth after every meal.
It's as easy as that, right? Well, it's not so easy.
It turns out there is a wrong way to brush your teeth. If you're brushing very hard and using the wrong kind of toothbrush, you might be doing major harm to your teeth as well as your gums. This increases the risk of tooth fractures, tooth sensitivity, the loss of gum tissue, and other major dental health problems.
Damaging Gums and Causing Recession
The telltale sign of brushing your teeth too aggressively is bleeding gums. This is generally a sign of trauma to the soft tissues of the mouth. Over time, this causes your gumline to recede, revealing more of the root structure of the teeth and causing your teeth to become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. This can then lead to a greater risk of root canal infections and possibly even tooth loss.
Damage to Tooth Enamel
Hard bristles on a toothbrush and aggressive scrubbing of the teeth doesn't just affect the gums. There are also times when this lead to wear and tear on the tooth enamel. As you wear your tooth enamel down, you weaken the overall structure of your teeth. You might notice greater sensitivity as you have hot or cold food items, and may even notice tenderness when you bite and chew.
Use a Toothbrush with Soft Bristles
Using the right kind of toothbrush is the best ways to avoid these problems with gum recession and damage to tooth enamel. Avoid hard bristles and instead opt for a toothbrush with soft bristles. These are much less abrasive and will prevent harm from affecting your teeth and gums.
In addition, you should also consider a toothbrush with a small head on it. This will allow you to more easily access the hard-to-reach portions of your mouth, enhancing your overall ability to clean your teeth.
Always Brush Gently and Thoroughly
Whenever you brush your teeth, be sure to do so gently. Vary the motions of your toothbrush so you can polish and clean the various surfaces, nooks, and crannies in your mouth. Be thorough as well. Some people don't brush their teeth long enough and wind up doing a haphazard job of cleaning their mouth.
A Word About Aggressive Flossing
Flossing your teeth too aggressively can also lead to damage of the teeth and gums. As with brushing, be sure to be gentle while flossing as well, and to not saw along the gums while cleaning your teeth.
Learn More About Proper Oral Hygiene
If you would like more information on how to improve your oral hygiene practice and keep your smile as healthy and beautiful as possible, be sure to contact our experienced cosmetic and restorative dentists today. Our team looks forward to your visit and discussing these matters in much greater detail.