We all know we need to brush our teeth twice a day. Anything less than that can harm our oral health, but what about the opposite end of the spectrum? Is it OK to brush more than twice a day?
It’s something we’re all familiar with—that gritty feeling in our teeth. It feels uncomfortable, and we know it must not smell very pleasant. But what if you already brushed your teeth that morning?
The good news is, you can’t brush too often! However, you can overbrush, which isn’t about how often you brush, but the techniques and tools you use.
Check Your Toothbrush’s Bristles
Next time you unwrap a new toothbrush, take a look at the bristles. The ends will look rounded, perfect for gently massaging your gums and teeth.
As you use your toothbrush, the ends will start to get jagged and worn. That’s how you know it’s time for a new brush. Your dentist will also give you one during your 6-month visit, but it’s quite possible that you’ll need a replacement brush sooner than that.
Not All Brushes Are the Same
We know it’s hard, but try not to be intimidated by the enormous wall of toothbrushes at the store! The only thing that really matters is that you select a brush with soft bristles, not medium or hard. After you rule out the stiff bristles, just choose one in your favorite color!
It’s easy to believe that a firm bristled brush will do a better job, but soft bristles clean your teeth just fine, and they don’t damage your gum tissue or enamel.
Refine Your Technique
Things that can result in overbrushing are too stiff or damaged toothbrush bristles and improper technique. So how about that proper technique?
Most people could stand to back off on the amount of pressure they use during brushing. It might help to change the verbiage you use. Instead of “scrubbing” or “brushing,” try thinking of it as “massaging” your teeth and gums.
While it is a good idea to brush extra if you’ve eaten something particularly sugary, be sure to wait 60 minutes before you brush. This gives the PH balance in your mouth time to return to normal. After you eat, your mouth tends to be a little more acidic, which temporarily softens your enamel. Brushing your teeth while they’re in this state can cause damage.
In short, feel free to brush your teeth as often as you like, just don’t overdo it with pressure and be sure you’re using the right toothbrush.