Keep A Check On Toothbrush Abrasion

toothbrush 2Too much of anything can have devastating results. This rule of thumb holds true for brushing your teeth as well. Overzealous brushing of teeth can damage the bristles of the toothbrush and result in a condition called toothbrush abrasion.

Those who have had a previous traumatic experience due to dental pain or dental treatments tend to brush their teeth vigorously thinking that this will keep dental problems at bay. This is the wrong idea as one needs to understand the simple concept of dental problems. Plaque is the source of almost every dental or gum problem. It is a soft film that covers the oral surfaces and is composed of oral bacteria, sugars and proteins. This soft layer takes about 12 hours to form. Hence, dentists recommend to brush twice daily. Plaque can be removed easily with optimum force application and excessive forces are absolutely unnecessary and harmful.

Effects of toothbrush abrasion

  1. First of all, hard or vigorous brushing causes hardening and uneven breaking of the bristles of your toothbrush. Hence, the life of a toothbrush is shortened. When this happens, your toothbrush should go to the trash can. Unfortunately, people fail to get rid of it and over time it causes further harm to the oral tissues.
  2. Toothbrush abrasion starts with a small ledge formation on the tooth surface at the edge of the gums. You can feel it with your fingernail. In some cases, the person experiences sensitivity when the ledge is touched. This ledge marks the area where the enamel layer has been worn out from aggressive tooth-brushing.
  3. Slowly the small ledge deepens and widens and assumes a V shape wedge.
  4. The gums start receding as they are being rubbed hard on a daily basis. This process leads to an increase in tooth sensitivity as the roots of the teeth get exposed.

The best way to deal with this problem is by changing the method of brushing your teeth.

  • Use a toothbrush with soft or ultra-soft bristles.
  • Use electric toothbrushes that have built in sensor that assesses the pressure applied while brushing. Excess pressure is indicated by a light or sound. Some modern electric toothbrushes do not work when excessive force is applied.
  • Use any normal toothpaste instead of whitening toothpastes as the latter are loaded with abrasive particles. A toothbrush dipped in fluoride mouthwashes are also an excellent alternative to the conventional brushing technique.
  • Modify the strokes you use for brushing your teeth. Move your toothbrush in an up and down motion. Strictly avoid horizontal left-right strokes.

These simple techniques can protect your teeth from toothbrush abrasion and help you maintain your teeth and gums in a healthy state.