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Brushing too Hard?

We see a lot of things in dentistry and we're honestly so happy when our Smiling Stars are proactive about their health care.  They brush twice every day for two minutes.  They floss. They stay away from sugary drinks and at the very least, they rinse with water after eating or drinking. 

Occasionally, we do come across people who go at it a little too enthusiastically.  We get it: brushing has become a daily habit and we're on auto-pilot when we do it.  

One thing we would recommend is: tune in to the amount of pressure you're using to brush your teeth because you can be brushing too hard. 

And when we are brushing too hard, we aren't paying attention to the warning signs of it - until it's too late. 

When we brush too hard, it can lead to a whole host of problems like:

* it can damage the surfaces of our teeth

* it can slough away our gums

* it can lead to sensitive teeth

* etc

So, let's work on preventing issues before they occur:

1) Use a soft-bristled brush rather than a hard-bristled brush.  

We don't need to scrub our teeth like it's a dirty dish with baked-on residue.  We need to be thorough, but a light pressure is suffice to remove food particles and plaque.  

To use the dish-washing analogy again, envision using the soft, spongy side on your non-stick frying pan compared to the scratchy green side.  In the short term, the green side appears more effective at removing gunk but in the long run, it also starts to scratch away and remove the top layers of your frying pan. Soft-Bristles are to Spongy-Side as Hard-Bristles are to Scratchy-Green-Side.  

**Note, however, that even brushing vigorously with a soft-bristle brush can still lead to damage, so remember to only use a light pressure.

2) Replace your soft-bristled brush every 3 months.

When our brushes start to wear away and fray, the natural tendency is to apply more pressure and brush harder.  Stick to the 3-month schedule and if you notice your brushes fraying way before the 3-month mark, ease up on the pressure.

3) Maintain a regular 3-6 month hygiene schedule with our dental team and annual Oral Hygiene Instruction (OHI) appointments.

Coming in for regular cleanings allows our team to identify early signs of brushing-related damage, flag it and inform you about it.  We can also educate you on proper brushing techniques in the OHI appointments and provide yearly refreshers (because let's face it, sometimes habits are hard to break).

Call our team today at (416) 226-6688 and let's work together.


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