Everyone has a different approach to their oral hygiene, but generally speaking, the biggest problem is that most of us don’t do it often enough; in a 2013 survey, the American Dental Association found that only about 57 percent of women brush, and the number drops to 50 percent for men.
Given these statistics, it may come as a shock to you that there’s anyone who would overbrush their teeth. While this may seem like a positive, proactive approach to oral hygiene, there can definitely be too much of a good thing when it comes to brushing frequency.
The Problem with Overbrushing
You can maintain excellent oral health by brushing twice and flossing once daily. If you brush more than three times a day or for longer than the recommended two minutes, you may be putting your oral health at risk:
- Dental erosion – Brushing too often or too vigorously can erode protective dental enamel and expose your teeth to decay.
- Tooth sensitivity – If you don’t know why you have sensitive teeth, you might want to look at your brushing habits. Since overbrushing erodes dental enamel, the inner parts of your tooth can become highly sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
- Gum damage – Brushing too much can push your gums back and lead to gum recession, which exposes the tooth root to bacteria and decay.
How Much is Enough?
Your dentist in Fairfax agrees with the recommendation of the American Dental Association that says we should brush twice a day – ideally when you wake up and before bedtime – and floss once. Combined with sensible nutrition and routine visits to Dr. Fairfax & Associates for dental cleanings exams, this should be all you need to keep your smile bright and healthy.