There’s a common phenomenon among mysophobics who wash their hands too much – they weaken the skin, ironically leaving them more susceptible to germs.
The same principle applies to brushing your teeth.
Erosion of Tooth Enamel
Tooth enamel is the protective outer layer of the tooth that protects against tooth decay.
Tooth enamel is strong – it’s even stronger than bone!
Nevertheless, acids in our foods and drinks wear away at it over time. Do you know what else can wear away at it? Too much brushing.
Toothbrush abrasion of the enamel leaves your teeth far more susceptible to the acids and bacteria in plaque. This is the exact opposite result you want from brushing your teeth.
Teeth Whitening Strips Can Also Damage Teeth
The bleaching ingredient in tooth whiteners can cause damage to the dentin (the bony part of the tooth underneath the enamel) if used too often or left on for too long.
Dentin contains high amounts of protein such as collagen, which can be eaten away by the bleaching ingredients in these strips.
Many people who have used teeth whitening strips have noticed stabs of tooth pain for a few days following the treatment.
How To Brush Your Teeth
For most people, brushing twice a day (once in the morning and once at night) is enough to sustain good oral hygiene.
Unfortunately, most people don’t stick to this schedule as often as they should. What’s more, people often brush their teeth too vigorously, which can lead to the erosion of tooth enamel.
Be sure to follow this routine:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. It’s a good idea to set a timer on your phone for this.
- Position your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and begin by cleaning the inner and outer surfaces of your teeth. Be sure to reach the areas in the back – this is a great place for plaque to hide. Gently move your toothbrush back and forth about the width of each tooth.
- Hold your toothbrush flat and cover the surface areas used for chewing.
- Clean the inside surfaces of the teeth with gentle up and down strokes while holding your toothbrush vertically. This is a great way of getting plaque and food out from in between your teeth.
- Brush along the gumline in a circular motion. This removes plaque that resides along the gumline which, if left to fester, can cause gingivitis (a painful inflammation of the gums).
- Finally, brush your tongue – especially near the back of your throat. This is important not only for hygiene, but for getting rid of bad breath as well.
Following a consistent dental hygiene plan will save you a lot of pain and money in the long run – it will prevent tooth decay and gum disease, neither of which is something anyone wants.
Also, be sure to visit your dentist regularly (about twice a year) for a routine exam and cleaning. They’ll be able to spot any problems as they’re developing and suggest the appropriate dental services.