Our team here at Piney Creek Family Dentistry is hear to tell you brushing routinely is critical to a healthy mouth, but you can be over doing a good thing. This is known as "toothbrush abrasion" and can lead to generalized sensitivity and recession as the outer protective layer can be worn away. With over brushing the gum tissue can be pushed back, wearing down the enamel which protects the teeth exposing the dentin. When sensitivity occurs due to recession it may be suggested to see a periodontist for connective tissue grafts (covering the root surface), fluoride varnish placed on the teeth in the office, prescription types of paste, or over the counter toothpaste such as Sensodyne.
Tips to Prevent Over Brushing:
- Use a soft or extra-soft bristled toothbrush to prevent gum tissue damage or wear of the enamel
- Keep in mind the direction of the bristles as you brush. They should be placed at a 45deg angle towards the gum tissue and give gentle circular motion to avoid a back and forth scrubbing motion.
- Apply just enough pressure for you to feel the bristles on the gum tissue.
- Replace your toothbrush once you notice frayed or bent bristles for a manual brush. Replace the head of your brush every 3months if using an electric brush.
- Brush for 2 min at a time.
- Use of an electric toothbrush, such as a Sonicare. Pressure indicator, 2 min timer, and guides brushing time for each quadrant in the mouth are built in features.
If you have any questions about your brushing technique or are concerned about sensitivity please ask about these concerns at your next visit or call the office today!
Piney Creek Family Dentistry Team