Tips to help you avoid damaging your gums and teeth

You may be surprised to learn that brushing your teeth can be damaging to your teeth and gums. Applying too much pressure, for example, can lead to an increase in stains and cavities. Fortunately, learning good tooth brushing technique is something your dentist can easily help you with.

In our practice, we are seeing an increase in the number of young patients with gum recession -a problem which was generally associated with the elderly and with gum disease.  Poor tooth brushing technique is a major contributing factor.

Brush with too much pressure and your tooth brush will first wear out your gums and then your enamel and roots.  This condition is called “tooth abrasion.” Exposed roots are much more susceptible to damage from cavity causing bacteria and stain.

One of the first symptoms of this condition  is hypersensitivity to cold and hot.  Acidic drinks and sweets can also cause sensitivity in patients with this condition.

Here are some tips to help you avoid damaging your gums and teeth:

  1. Use a very soft toothbrush.
  2. Massage your gums at a 45 degree angle.  Using a short horizontal back and forth motion at the gumline.  This is where most of your plaque will  accumulate.
  3. Take  your thumb OFF the top of the brush.  Too much downward pressure on the gums and teeth causes gum recession and eventually tooth abrasion.
  4. Remember, GENTLY brush at the gum line, do not scrub.   Pay attention to your back molars.
  5. 3 minutes and you’re  done.
  6. FLOSS FIRST. Get the big chunks out. This will allow the toothpaste to work.
  7. Give us a call or ask us during your next visit. We’ll be happy to show you this technique!

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