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Are You Brushing Your Smile Away



Did you know that millions of people are ruining their smile.

Their instrument of destruction - the average household toothbrush. Find out if you're ruining your smile every morning when you brush.

The purpose of brushing our teeth is to remove the plaque bacteria which constantly grow on tooth surfaces. This plaque bacteria creates the volatile sulfur compounds responsible for bad breath as well as dilute acid which eats into tooth enamel creating cavities.

Toothbrushing mechanically removes plaque bacteria from our teeth and gums. Unfortunately, most people use too much pressure when brushing their teeth. This excessive brushing force damages teeth in several ways:

  1. Brushing too hard ruins gum tissue causing the gums to recede. This unsightly gum recession can ruin an otherwise perfect smile. Gum tissue can never grow back.
  2. Brushing too hard strips tooth enamel from the tooth making the tooth sensitive to heat, cold, and other stimuli. Stripped enamel reveals the underlying tooth layer called the dentin. Because dentin is yellowish in color, the result is an ever increasing yellowish smile. As with gum tissue, enamel can never grow back.
Why Do Most People Brush Too Hard ?

It is estimated that most people brush too hard. Some studies indicate the number of people who apply too much brushing pressure to be as high as 66% of the population. Usually we brush too hard for one of two reasons:

We don't realize how much brushing pressure is too much pressure:
No one has ever taught us how to brush with the right amount of pressure. Consequently, even if we think that we are brushing softly, we are often, in fact applying far too much pressure damaging teeth and gums.

We feel that the harder we brush the cleaner are teeth will become:
This is a common misperception. The goal of brushing is too remove plaque bacteria. Plaque bacteria is very easily removed with the slightest of brushing pressure. When we brush harder we do not remove more plaque, just damage teeth and gums.

What's more important than how hard we brush, is brushing all of our tooth surfaces. It takes nearly 3 minutes to do this but most people spend less than 30 seconds brushing their teeth.

What Can You Do ?

It is incredibly hard to stop brushing too hard. We may be able to stop for a day or two but quickly return to our old habits. Think of it like driving a car with no speedometer. It is nearly impossible to know how fast you are going and very easy to exceed the speed limit.

Most people would benefit from an electric toothbrush (plaque remover). Many of these like the Braun Oral-B 3D and the Sonicare Plaque Remover containing pressure sensors which automatically cut the brush off when you exert too much pressure.

A less expensive option is the Alert toothbrush. This is a training toothbrush which is shaped like a regular toothbrush. When you exert too much pressure, however, a small biosensor lights, alerting you to the danger. Once you have "trained" yourself to brush more gently you can start using a normal toothbrush again.

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