Can You Brush Too Often? Brushing your teeth is a dental routine that has been engrained into everyone’s mind since as early as we can remember. This golden law that we learned so early on, “Brush your teeth before you go to bed” is the easiest and most obvious way you can keep your mouth healthy and happy. Any Dentist you meet will preach to you the obvious benefits of brushing on a consistent basis. But have you ever considered, especially when you feel like skipping once in awhile, that maybe you can have too much of this good thing? Thanks to one of our amazing patients, Evan, we’re tackling this often asked question, “Can you brush too often?”
The main objective we want to achieve when brushing is to remove any and all food debris, bacteria, and plague. Believe it or not, there is a wrong way to brush your teeth. Using improper technique, along with brushing too often, will cause damage to your enamel and gums. Be careful to not heavy hand your brush and to use gentle, circular and back and forth movements. Avoid over brushing, and be sure to brush your teeth no more than five times a day, for no longer than 2-4 minutes at a time. We want to brush our teeth for 2-4 minutes to allow enough time for the fluoride in the toothpaste to penetrate and strengthen your teeth. Remember, fluoride is an mineral that naturally strengthens the enamel- the thin and incredibly strong layer that completely covers and protects each tooth. A healthy, strong enamel is resistant to acid, thus resistant to decay. For those of you who frequently snack throughout the day, you unfortunately are at a higher risk of over brushing and irritating your gums and enamel.
Think quality over quantity when it comes to the frequency of your brushing habits. Switch to a soft bristled toothbrush. As always keep up with your professional hygiene appointments so your Dentist can properly monitor the state of your oral health.
Written by: Emilio Couret D.D.S. of Dente Complete Dentistry
The American Dental Association
Delta Dental of California