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When we were children, Momma told us that we should brush our teeth real good every day to keep from getting cavities. Because we like to please our parents, some of us took to the task enthusiastically. For years many people have been brushing their teeth too hard and causing damage to their teeth and gums.

The reason why we are brushing our teeth in the first place is because of plaque. We want to remove this sticky, film from our teeth so that it doesn’t lead to tartar, then gingivitis and finally periodontitis (gum disease). The fact is, plaque is actually a soft substance and doesn’t require hard brushing. It can easily be removed with a more gentle technique. Getting at plaque in between teeth does require flossing, but that is for another article. Also, depending on the toothpaste you use and the frequency that you brush, you may be wearing down your tooth enamel much sooner than you should by brushing vigorously.

Also, while your teeth may be hard, your gums are soft tissue. While you must clean around the gums as well as the teeth, brushing forcefully tears away at the thin gum tissue around the base of the tooth causing receding gum lines and exposing the root. Protective enamel does not extend to the root of the tooth and it becomes vulnerable to the damaging effects of decay.

If you’d like more information about proper toothbrushing, call Dr. Steven Pooley and our team at Pooley Dentistry. Make an appointment at: 815-968-5434, or come by our office in Loves Park, Illinois.