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As youngsters, our parents taught us that proper toothbrushing was a solemn duty we must perform every day in order to keep cavities away. Being children, we believed everything our authority figures told us, but in this case our parents were absolutely right.

Now, some children, and even a few adults, are so eager to please that they perform the task of toothbrushing too enthusiastically–as though scraping barnacles off the keel of a sea-going vessel. After all, the harder you scrub, the better the job, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case. In fact, it is damaging to tooth enamel to scrub too vigorously and even worse for your gums.

Why do you brush your teeth in the first place? The answer is, to remove plaque so that it doesn’t advance into decay that eventually progresses into gum disease and tooth loss. The reason you may take a delicate touch with your toothbrushing is because plaque, the sticky film on teeth, is a soft substance that is easily eradicated with gentle motions from a soft-bristled toothbrush. There simply is no need to be forceful. A good brushing technique and thorough cleaning is all that is required.

Let’s not forget about the gums. Hard brushing is most damaging to the areas where the thin tissue of the gums meet the teeth, but they need to be brushed and cleaned as well because plaque loves hiding along the gum line. While this location can’t ignored, you should be aware that your gums will recede if you brush too hard. Instead, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle on the gum line and softly flick your toothbrush away from the gums.

If you’d like more information about proper toothbrushing, call Dr. Amirhassan Pouradib and our team at Preferred Dental. Make an appointment at: 707-544-8338, or come by our office in Santa Rosa, California.