Can You Really Brush Your Teeth Too Hard?
(FeatureSource) Hoping to get through the chore of daily brushing, you may be tempted to put some torque into your toothbrush. In the past, it's likely your dentist would have told you that hard brushing and hard bristles brush away some of the enamel at the gum line, leaving ledges in your teeth. Now science is showing this may not be the case. In fact, research has found that the real culprit is toothpaste, not your toothbrush.
Over the years, many variables have been suggested to explain the high incidence of abrasion on teeth. Most explanations have dealt with brushing technique, force, frequency and time. Other explanations for the occurrence of abrasions have dealt with the type of brush and bristle stiffness.
In truth, it's the toothpaste that's abrasive, not the brush. Think of using a cloth or a brush to clean a sink. Without cleanser, the cloth or brush doesn't rough up the surface. It's merely the vehicle to carry the abrasive cleanser, which can do the damage. The same is true with toothbrushes.
In fact, "dry brushing" is even more effective than brushing with toothpaste. Visit www.ToothpasteSecret.com for the free report "Three Bonuses from Dry Brushing," or pick up a copy of "The Toothpaste Secret" (Perio Reports, $9.95), a book of simple secrets on how to brush for a healthier smile.
Surprisingly, doctors in England did in fact find that toothbrushes were involved in tooth abrasions, but they were not the cause of it. The goal of their study was to measure the effects of toothpaste in combination with several different toothbrushes. They found that soft brushes resulted in more abrasions than hard brushes. However, this is likely due to the ability of soft brushes to hold toothpaste in contact with the surface longer. Soft bristles also have the ability to flex more than hard bristles, delivering toothpaste to more surface area. Final result? The brush may affect the damage caused by toothpaste, but it's still the toothpaste that's doing the damage.
So if you've been noticing those unsightly abrasions on your teeth and your dentist says it's due to brushing, don't toss aside your favorite brand of toothbrush. Instead, take a closer look at the toothpaste. Then brush without toothpaste. Finish up by applying fluoride gel or fluoride toothpaste to your teeth-no brush required.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Trisha E. O'Hehir, RDH, is an international speaker, author, inventor, dental instrument designer and relentless promoter of oral health. She is absolutely convinced that dental disease can and should be prevented. For more secrets on oral health, visit www.ToothpasteSecret.com for your free report "Three Bonuses from Dry Brushing," or pick up a copy of her book, "The Toothpaste Secret."
If you like this article, we'd be honored if you shared it using the button below.