Growing up, we were told by our parents to clean our teeth well to avoid getting cavities. Unless you were a child contrarian, you probably thought this was good advice and did as they advised, brushing your teeth at least twice a day. If you were a dutiful child you may have been enthusiastic in your toothbrushing ritual and scrubbed vigorously to please your parents with a sparkling smile. After all, the harder you brush, the cleaner. Correct? This may have even been your flawed thinking into adulthood.
The truth of the matter is that brushing your teeth forcefully is actually damaging and you should actually do it almost like an archaeologist uncovers a dinosaur fossil, with tender, gentle strokes. While your teeth may not be quite as fragile as petrified bone, the analogy isn’t a bad one. It is possible to wear down the enamel on teeth and even more likely you will be damaging your gum line when brushing too hard.
Hard brushing can be disastrous where the gum tissue is thinnest–the area where the teeth meet the gums. They need to be brushed because plaque build-up is worst along the gumline, but you should be wary of triggering a recession of the gums if brushing too hard.
Plaque is a soft substance not difficult to remove by employing a good technique and consistent effort. Don’t confuse plaque with tartar, which is the calcified result of ignoring plaque, and can only be removed by a dentist with specialized tools.
If you’d like more information about proper toothbrushing, call Dr. David Powell and our team at All Care Dentistry. Make an appointment at: 801-266-1414, or come by our office in Murray, Utah.