Your teeth are incredibly tough. In fact, enamel is the hardest substance in your body, even more than your bones! Unfortunately, however, that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. Everyday assaults such as toothbrush abrasion really add up over time and can lead to problems with both the health and appearance of your teeth. In this blog, you’ll learn more about toothbrush abrasion in Plano and how you can avoid it. Since brushing your teeth is something you’ll be doing at least twice a day for life, you may as well learn how to do it without damaging your teeth!
What Causes Toothbrush Abrasion?
Imagine that you spend time each day scrubbing away at stone or marble, or that it’s exposed to acid rain (or both). Over a period of years, the marble or stone is bound to get worn down.
Although your teeth are made of hard, tough minerals like calcium and phosphorous, they’re also subject to being worn down over time from incorrect brushing and exposure to acids (the combination of the two is especially harmful). Here are some of the causes of toothbrush abrasion:
- Aggressive brushing – Brushing too hard is incredibly common. While it’s understandable to think that the harder your brush, the cleaner your teeth and gums will be, the truth is that it does more harm than good.
- Stomach acid – Your enamel is more prone to wearing away if it’s exposed to stomach acid too frequently from acid reflux (GERD), morning sickness, or bulimia.
- Acidic foods and beverages – Examples include coffee, soda (even diet), citrus fruits, alcoholic beverages, and anything carbonated.
How Can You Prevent Toothbrush Abrasion?
To avoid toothbrush abrasion and prevent your enamel from becoming thinner over time, use the following tips:
- Brush lightly – Use very light pressure when you brush, but make sure to brush for two full minutes to get the job done well. You can also use an electric toothbrush, which, if used properly, exposes your teeth and gums to much less pressure than manual brushing.
- Schedule regular checkups – See a dentist in Plano every six months. If they notice early signs of toothbrush abrasion, they can help you prevent it from progressing.
- Use extra topical fluoride – Swish with a fluoride (anti-cavity) mouthwash twice a day to add mineral back into your enamel and prevent cavities.
- Wait to brush – Don’t brush immediately after consuming something sweet or acidic because your enamel is temporarily softened, making it more susceptible to toothbrush abrasion. Instead, wait about 20 minutes. You can also chew sugar-free gum to stimulate salivary flow, which naturally protects your enamel because it neutralizes acids.
- Swish with water – If you don’t have sugarless gum, rinse your mouth out with plain water several times to wash away residual acids and sugars that soften your enamel.
- Minimize the acidic foods and beverages mentioned above – If you do enjoy these items occasionally, just swish with fluoride mouthwash (or at least water) afterward.
Toothbrush abrasion can lead to a lot of unnecessary wear-and-tear on your teeth. By taking these precautions, you can keep your smile healthy for the long haul!
About the Author
Dr. Terrel R. Myers is an award-winning dentist in Plano with over 30 years of experience. He understands how everyday habits affect tooth enamel and always educates his patients about how to avoid problems like toothbrush abrasion. If you’re concerned about worn enamel or have any questions, he can be contacted via his website.