How brushing too hard can damage your teeth and other brushing facts

Azure Dental Resources
banner Image

Yes, you can brush your teeth too often or for too long. Marathon brushing sessions (4-5 minutes or more) several times a day may damage your enamel, especially if you’re brushing too hard. Brushing teeth three or more times a day isn’t necessarily bad, but damage occurs if you’re brushing the wrong way. We often see patients who have brushed away tooth structure and worn their teeth away using a toothbrush incorrectly.

The issue is less about brushing too much and brushing the wrong way. Brushing frequently, like after every meal, is worst when you have bad habits, and these can range from failing to replace your brush often enough to brushing too hard.

How bad is it if I don’t brush my teeth before bed?

Going to bed without brushing your teeth is like leaving your dishes undone. Like your sink, bacteria will start growing in your mouth. It’s terrible for your dental health — don’t do it.

The naturally-occurring bacteria in your mouth will be well-fed on the food residue you leave when you go to sleep. This “feast” will result in weakened enamel, decay, plaque formation, and cavities.

As the body is designed to do, recognising plaque as an infection, the immune system will spring into action and attack the problem. It sounds like a good thing at first, but the victim will be the healthy tissues holding your teeth in place, making gums recede.

Brushing teeth before going to bed is one of the most significant hygiene habits to form.

Do I need to brush my teeth if I’m eating right?

Yes, it would be best to still brush your teeth, even on a healthy diet.

A school of thought says: if you eat a proper diet, you may not need to brush your teeth. Before you throw away all your toothbrushes — or decide this is a crazy concept — let’s talk about this.

Before World War II, consistent teeth brushing wasn’t a normal part of the daily routine. People depended on toothpicks and tooth chews to keep their mouths and teeth clean. But in the 1940s, the Western world discovered the little-known phenomenon of refined carbs, sugar, and processed foods, and these easy foods were made readily available on grocer’s shelves.

This began on the battlefield as soldiers were fed meals and given ration packs of foods that would stay edible with limited refrigeration. Biscuits, oatmeal, dried fruit bars, cereal, canned meats and cheeses, and some canned vegetables were the norm.

Consuming those foods over a period of time quickly resulted in large numbers of cavities. So, the army strongly encouraged soldiers to brush their teeth regularly.

Surprisingly, people only started brushing their teeth less than a century ago.

Brushing is actually more necessary for people with poorer diets. If you were to eat a Paleo- or keto-style diet devoid of sugary, acidic, or processed foods, you probably wouldn’t need to brush your teeth that often, but because you may not be able (or willing) to eat “right” forever without occasionally succumbing to unhealthy food, brushing your teeth is still important!

Azure Dental team is ready to answer any of your dental questions; book an assessment today to get started.