Can The Wrong Toothbrush Damage Your Gums?

Posted by PCE DENTAL IMPLANT CENTER Aug 16, 2021

This is a thumbnail image of blog Can The Wrong Toothbrush Damage Your Gums?

To keep your teeth and gums healthy, you need to make sure that you’re using the right toothbrush. Today there are many different types of toothbrushes available, but this guide will explain what types of designs, bristles, and techniques are best for keeping your gums healthy and supportive for your smile in the years ahead.

Why NOT Use a Hard or Extra-Hard Toothbrush

Any toothbrush that is too hard or stiff can damage your gums over time. Over-brushing or “scrub brushing” with stiff bristles is one of the leading causes of gum recession, a common dental problem that exposes sensitive roots.

The best thing you can do to protect your gum tissues is to pick out a soft or extra-soft toothbrush instead. You’ll be able to thoroughly clean your teeth without causing further damage. You can also consider an electric toothbrush with soft bristles.

While harder bristles may seem like they clean more effectively at first glance, they tend to cause more harm than good. Since the bristles are extremely stiff, they tend to apply too much pressure and aren’t capable of conforming to the curves of your smile. You’ll actually notice heavier plaque buildup in certain areas. In time, hard toothbrushes don’t just contribute to gum recession but can also cause abraded areas in your tooth enamel itself.

If You’re Using a Toothbrush Incorrectly

Usually, if we’re cleaning something, extra pressure is a good thing. But not when it comes to your teeth and gums.

Regardless of which toothbrush you’re using, if you aren’t brushing correctly, you could actually be harming your gums and teeth. You should technically only be applying just enough pressure to cause your gums to slightly blanch, but nothing more. If you tend to be heavy-handed, consider holding your toothbrush with 3-4 fingers instead of all 5 or switch to an electric brush that you simply hold in position so that it does the work for you.

When you brush, angle the bristles at 45-degrees toward the gumlines, making extremely short back and forth strokes that focus on just 1-2 teeth at a time. Again, don’t apply too much pressure.

Best Soft & Extra-Soft Toothbrushes

Always reach for an ADA-approved soft-bristled brush and replace any worn-out brushes (where the bristles are starting to splay outward) in a timely manner, which is usually once every 3-4 months.

Soft-bristled toothbrushes are a great choice for anyone, regardless of their dental concerns. Be sure to check the packaging when you make a toothbrush purchase. If it says something like “medium”, “hard”, or “extra stiff”, put it back on the shelf.

High-quality electric toothbrushes are extremely beneficial to our periodontal patients, as they’re thorough yet gentle on your smile. Placing them appropriately against each tooth allows you to ensure a thorough clean without being too rough on your gums or teeth.

Ask a Gum Specialist!

Confused about which toothbrush is best for your gums? Visit our periodontist in The Woodlands /Conroe for professional recommendations before making your next oral hygiene investment. You’ll be glad that you did!

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