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Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
Store and its social media channels. He is a regular contributor to Agent Straight Talk, the
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Do you "crush" brush? Why you shouldn't

Apr 09, 2012

Earlier this week our sales manager tweeted that her dentist said she brushed her teeth too hard. He also advised her to use a children’s toothbrush before handing her a Princess Tiana toothbrush. And no, he wasn’t kidding.

From this we can assume that her dentist meant what he said – well, and that Brooke was a good girl.

Like many people, Brooke takes her daily tooth brushing seriously and performs this daily routine with zest and purpose. But her dentist makes a good point. How hard is too hard when you are brushing? If you are a “hard brusher” and have thin gums, brushing your teeth hard over time can push back your gums, exposing the root of your teeth. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and possibly the need for gum surgery such as a gingivectomy or a gum flap procedure.

Don’t be someone who brushes too hard and scares their family by flapping their gum.

Last I looked there was no reality show for tooth brushing, but there are a couple of correct ways to brush. First, choose your weapon wisely because the war against oral bacteria is a daily one and the two of you will be spending a lot of time in the pie hole together.

Many dentists recommend an electric toothbrush because the bristles move at a high speed. This high speed motion allows you to get your gums clean without pushing on them as you do with a manual toothbrush. Because the bristles move so vigorously you should be gentle with your movements. Remember Santa’s admonition to Ralphie in A Christmas Story – you don’t want to shoot your eye out kid.

For those wary of inserting an electronic wand into your mouth due to an earlier FDA recall about malfunctioning electric toothbrushes, you can still brush your pearlies the way nature intended – that is, for the past 232 years anyway.  

But remember, more “elbow grease” is required with manual toothbrushes, so be sure to allow for 2-3 minutes to achieve the same results you would with an electric toothbrush.

Once you’ve chosen your oral tool of choice, dentists say to forget about circular strokes (you’re not the Karate Kid waxing Mr. Miyagi’s car) and side to side strokes. Tilt the brush at a 45 degree ankle and insert it against your gums, so the outer edge is touching your gums. Stroke downward slowly over the tooth. The bristles should be moving vigorously but you should be using just the edge of the brush and gripping the handle loosely.

This is a proven way of getting your teeth very clean up to your gum line, but without putting damaging pressure on your gums.

During brushing be sure to brush every surface of every tooth. That means the backs and fronts of each tooth, plus the bottoms and tops of your molars. And finally, don’t forget the backs of your back molars. Gosh knows what dastardly food particles may be hiding back there.

Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk. And remember, if you see a friend without a smile, give him one of yours. What would you like to see in this blog? Tell us by emailing me at:

Find me on Twitter at Twitter@ToothTeller

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Copyright 2012, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

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