Maintaining proper oral hygiene is essential to keeping your mouth healthy. Dentists recommend you to brush your teeth two to three times a day to stave off tooth decay and gum disease. But what if you’re feeling overzealous and brush your teeth more than that? Brushing your teeth too much can’t hurt, can it?
Actually, it can. Here is what happens if you brush your teeth more than the recommended number of times per day.
Worn Down Tooth Enamel
Brushing vigorously five times a day can be extremely damaging to the surface of your teeth. Your tooth enamel is what protects your teeth from decay, as it shields the inner pulp.
Unfortunately, brushing five times a day can start to wear down this layer. Instead of brushing away plaque buildup, you’ll begin to brush away the actual enamel.
This is especially true if you’re brushing too hard, with a hard-bristled brush, or for longer than two minutes.
How can you tell if you’ve started to wear down your enamel? One of the first symptoms is increased sensitivity to hot and cold foods. Without the outer enamel to act as a barrier, the inner parts of your teeth can feel more, leading to sensitive teeth.
This means you might get a shooting pain when you try to eat foods like ice cream, hot coffee or tea, or smoothies.
Damage to Gums
Of course, brushing too much doesn’t only affect your teeth. Your gums will also be affected when you brush, as they might get pushed back and start to recede. Without your gums to protect them, your teeth might start to develop cavities near the root, which could require them to be pulled.
Eventually, it can even lead to gum disease. Some symptoms of gum disease you might notice include red and inflamed gums and pockets between the teeth and the gums.
Experts estimate that about 10 to 20 percent of the population has damaged their teeth or gums because of overbrushing, so it’s something you should take into consideration. There is definitely too much of a good thing when it comes to oral health.
So what is the ideal number of times to brush your teeth? Stick with two to three, preferably once in the morning and once at night. Use a soft-bristled brush and replace it every three months to ensure it doesn’t scrape your enamel. Finally, limit your brushing sessions to two minutes, no more and no less.
Need more tips on how often to brush your teeth? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Mann today.