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Can You Brush for Too Long?

Posted on 10/5/2020 by Watermark Dentistry
Can You Brush for Too Long?Our professionals agree with the ADA recommendation that our patients should brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day. A common problem is when patients brush for too brief of a time. However, the opposite habit – brushing too frequently or for too long – is rarely an issue. When our team discusses overbrushing, it's not the time or frequency that is the factor.

Overbrushing Causes Oral Damage

Our professionals recommend that our patients use soft-bristled toothbrushes and non-abrasive, fluoridated toothpastes when they brush their teeth. Hard brushes might remove plaque, but they will also damage the gumlines and the teeth's enamel. Using excessive force when brushing can lead to receding gumlines, which can also lead to sensitive teeth due to the newly-exposed parts of the teeth.

Steps to Prevent Overbrushing

The most important means of preventing overbrushing is to use less force. Some patients use their non-dominant hand, while others treat the act of brushing as a massage instead of a vigorous cleaning. The method a patient uses to brush can cause harm as well. Moving from left-to-right along the teeth neglects the gums and misses many areas of the teeth. Patients are advised to start at the gumline and gently move the brush up and down. It is ill-advised to brush immediately after eating due to the acidity of the food and the abrasiveness of the toothbrush and toothpaste. Our team recommends that patients wait until at least 20 minutes after a meal or snack to brush their teeth. Some models of electric toothbrushes have built-in timers that help patients brush for the right amount of time. When the electric toothbrush deactivates, the patient has brushed for the correct amount of time.
If you have questions or concerns about your oral care regimen, call our office for a consultation and instructions.
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