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21Nov2010

Be Gentle With Your Toothbrush

YES, OF COURSE… Brushing our teeth regularly and thoroughly is an important component of our lifelong oral health. But, did you also know that brushing your teeth certain ways can lead to further tooth trouble? We know, your toothbrush habits aren’t exactly typical dinner conversation, but proper habits are worth mentioning here…

As our entire team at Elizabethtown Dental treat you and your family, one of the things we often notice (although well intentioned) is that some of you brush your teeth just a little too hard.

Among other problems, brushing too hard can cause tooth sensitivity. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, sensitivity effects millions of people in this country. While there are many possible reasons for sensitivity, including eating acidic foods and drinking acidic beverages, your aggressive brushing techniques can start or worsen sensitivity.

Everyone has a layer of protective enamel over their teeth. If this layer becomes eroded and/or your gumline recedes from brushing too hard, the softer tissue (called dentin) can be exposed. Dentin is connected to your tooth’s nerves, and this exposure is what can cause sensitivity and pain.

If you are already having sensitive tooth issues, there are also some whitening products and mouthwashes that can contribute. And of course, if you have a problem such as a cracked tooth, this can be causing pain as well (word to the wise—keep your regularly scheduled checkup appointments! We can catch things before they become a problem).

So, what can you do?

  1. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  2. Hold that toothbrush in your fingertips instead of your whole hand.
  3. Brush gently.
  4. Use circular motions.
  5. Try a desensitizing toothpaste.
  6. Use your toothbrush at a forty-five degree angle.

Helping you take good care of your teeth is important to every member of our team here at Elizabethtown Dental. If you ever have any questions, be sure to contact us!

Speaking of fun, here’s a little video clip… And you were wondering if you’re brushing too hard?!

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