Yes, you read that correctly! As we all know, using a toothbrush is a must to keep our teeth clean. But using a wrong toothbrush and using an incorrect brushing technique can be very harmful to your teeth and gums!
We must use a SOFT toothbrush always. Using a toothbrush with medium and hard bristles can be very detrimental as they are too stiff and don’t reach into the gumline as far as they should. Brushing with medium or hard bristles can be very abrasive to enamel, root surfaces, and your gums. Always use a brush with SOFT bristles.
More importantly, one’s brushing technique is very critical. Brushing too hard is extremely abrasive to teeth and gums also. Since I’ve been in private practice, it seems that most adults have some level of “toothbrush abrasion.” Brushing too hard will wear enamel down and wear away your gums over time. When enamel is worn down, teeth can become sensitive and get cavities easier. When gum tissue wears down, gum recession occurs. When gum recession occurs, roots become exposed and teeth can become sensitive. When root is exposed, it will wear down much faster than enamel and cavities form much easier on root surfaces.
Correct brushing technique does not require “scrubbing” in a horizontal motion over your teeth. Brushing should be very GENTLE and in round circular motions along the gumline. The only thing you should be concerned with is getting the bristles in the gumline. This is where the plaque bacteria hides. Take your time and brush slowly and gently. This will ensure good healthy teeth and gums over your lifetime!