How do I know if I am Brushing my Teeth too Hard?

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Taking care of your teeth properly is very important, it is much better to prevent cavities and other oral health problems than to allow them to build up and cause serious problems. The first step in this process is to remove the sticky, colourless film of bacteria which coats your teeth, known as plaque. If left unchecked, plaque can harden into calculus which can cause a variety of oral health problems. To this end, most dentists would advise a regular brushing regime, at least twice a day for about two minutes at a time. It is also important to floss when you brush as bacteria can often find a home in the gaps between your teeth.

It is important to use fluoride toothpaste, as this is highly effective at combating the formation of cavities. If you have got sensitive teeth however, it may be best to use specialised toothpaste, designed to lessen the problem using potassium and other chemicals. However, it is important to check with your dentist, as sensitivity can often be a sign of an underlying oral health problem.

Brushing your teeth too hard can often contribute to enamel erosion, and in many cases, can cause sensitivity in the teeth, receding gums and even tooth loss. To help prevent this, there are a number of commonly advised tips on how to brush properly. Firstly, make sure to hold your brush against the gum line at about a 45 degree angle. Brush upwards from the gum, using short, gentle strokes. Use this method to clean all the inner and outer surfaces of your teeth. For the chewing surfaces, make sure to use gentle, short strokes and try to get the bristles of your brush into the pits of your teeth. Many adults don't come anywhere close the amount of time needed to thoroughly clean their teeth, so a common tip is to use an egg timer or play one of your favourite songs to get a feel for the times involved.

In addition to regular brushing, make sure to floss and use mouthwash as these can often help to combat a range of oral health problems like cavities, tooth erosion and bad breath.

Read more in the Dental Treatment Information Guide »