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Remember… Don’t Brush TOO Hard

October 21, 2010

OF COURSE…Brushing our teeth is an important component of our lifelong oral health! We all know that! But, did you also know that there’s actually some important techniques to brushing your teeth? It’s not something often talked about… Not exactly typical dinner conversation!

As Drs. Patti Bradley, David Bradley, and Phil Boswell treat you and your family, one of the things that we often notice (although well intentioned) is that some of you just brush your teeth too hard.

Among other problems, brushing too hard can cause tooth sensitivity. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, sensitivity affects millions and millions of people in this country. There are lots of other possible reasons for sensitivity as well, including eating acidic foods and drinking acidic beverages—but your aggressive brushing techniques may be a cause.

Dr. David Bradley says, “If your protective enamel layer over your teeth becomes eroded, and/or your gumline recedes from brushing too hard, the softer tissue (the dentin) can be exposed. This dentin is connected to your tooth’s nerve which can cause sensitivity and/or pain.”

Certain whitening products and mouthwashes can also contribute. And of course, if there’s a problem in your mouth such as a cracked tooth, this can be causing pain as well (Word to the wise: Keep your regularly scheduled checkup appointments! We can catch things before they become a problem.).

So, what can you do?

  1. Use soft-bristled toothbrushes.
  2. Hold toothbrush in your fingertips—not like a construction worker with a hammer.
  3. Brush gently.
  4. Use a desensitizing toothpaste.
  5. Brush in circular motions.
  6. Use your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle.

Helping you take good care of your teeth is important to every member of our team here at Lake Oconee Dentistry. If you ever have any questions, be sure to contact us!


Speaking of fun… Some creative folks at an ad agency we found called Richter 7 who made this fun little clip. Wow… And you’re wondering if YOU’RE brushing too hard?!

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