Can You Overbrush? | Altoona IA Dentist


Brushing your teeth diligently is a cornerstone of good oral hygiene, but can you overdo it? Surprisingly, yes. Overbrushing, or brushing too vigorously or compulsively, can lead to dental issues like abrasion, sensitivity, and gum recession. Here’s what you need to know about the potential risks of overbrushing and how to protect your teeth:

Abrasions: Overzealous brushing can wear away tooth enamel, leading to dental abrasion. This is characterized by shiny spots near the gum line and V-shaped indentations on the gums.

Tooth Sensitivity: As enamel wears away, tooth sensitivity can develop. Exposed nerve endings in the dentin layer may cause discomfort when exposed to hot, cold, sweet, or sour foods.

Gum Recession: Overbrushing can also cause gums to recede, exposing the softer cementum of the root. This can lead to sensitivity, decay, and even tooth loss if left untreated.

To protect your teeth after overbrushing, consider these steps:

Use a Soft-bristled Toothbrush: Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush to reduce the risk of abrasion while still effectively cleaning your teeth.

Choose the Right Toothpaste: Avoid abrasive toothpaste and opt for varieties containing calcium and fluoride to strengthen enamel.

Correct Brushing Technique: Brush gently in a circular motion, angling the toothbrush towards the gum line. Avoid applying excessive pressure.

Wait After Eating: Wait at least 60 minutes after meals, especially acidic ones, before brushing to prevent enamel erosion.

Address Other Habits: Avoid using your teeth for tasks like opening bottles or biting nails, as these habits can contribute to abrasion and enamel wear.

If you’ve been overbrushing, it’s essential to address any resulting dental issues promptly. Your dentist may recommend treatments like fluoride varnish, tooth-colored fillings, or gum grafting to protect exposed areas and restore oral health.

At Altoona Dental, your trusted Altoona IA Dentist, we’re here to support your oral health journey. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about maintaining a healthy smile for life.

Altoona Dental
Phone: (515) 967-4211
107 8th St. SE
Altoona, IA 50009