MNA Lifestyle Desk: If you are too much committed while brushing your teeth, you must know that over-brushing can damage your teeth. Using your toothbrush too enthusiastically can permanently damage teeth and gums, dentists warn. People who brush longer and harder than necessary not only fail to make their teeth cleaner but actually risk harming themselves, a study shows.
When researchers asked people to increase the length of their brushing regime, and the pressure they applied, the removal of bacteria was only improved up to a point. Beyond that, the risk of causing oral health problems, such as the abrasion of tooth enamel or gums, increases.
The study was carried out by experts from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne’s School of Dental Sciences and the Centre for Health Services Research.
The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Period-ontology, found that two minutes and 150 grams – about the weight of an orange – was the optimum time and pressure for the average person’s brushing regime.
Twelve volunteers took part in the study, which examined 16 combinations of brushing times and pressures. They used an electric toothbrush wired to a computer that took precise measurements.
Researchers recorded the levels of plaque before and after brushing and found that plaque removal steadily improved as brushing time and pressure were increased.
But their results showed that when people brushed for longer than two minutes, at a pressure higher than 150 grams, they were not removing any extra plaque.
Peter Heasman, professor of period-ontology at Newcastle, who led the study, said, “Although we found that you have to brush your teeth reasonably long and hard to get rid of the harmful plaque which causes dental diseases, our research shows that once you go beyond a certain point you aren’t being any more effective.”
You could actually be harming your gums and possibly your teeth. Despite this, anecdotal evidence within the dental profession suggests the majority of the population still believe that the longer and the harder you brush the better for your teeth it is.
The way in which you brush your teeth is just as important, and this goes hand in glove with the time you spend brushing and the pressure you apply to them. Some electric toothbrushes contain a timer and provide instructions on how to use them.