Dear Dr. Kim
Dear Dr. Kim — How do I know if I am brushing too hard? And, why does it matter how I brush or if I use a hard toothbrush? – Joan S.
Dear Joan — Most people think you need to scrub off the germs and plaque. We actually don’t get a better cleaning by brushing hard and by doing so can actually damage our teeth and gums.
If the answer is “no” to any of the following questions, you are brushing too hard.
1. I use a basic toothbrush with soft simple bristles Yes/ No
2. I hold my toothbrush gently by the fingertips Yes/ No
3. After using my toothbrush for 3 months the bristles look the same as the day I bought them Yes/ No
4. I brush my teeth in a soft circular motion with the bristles toward my gums at a 45-degree angle Yes/ No
Bacteria like to join together to make plaque which is soft. Because the plaque is soft, scrubbing is not needed; in actuality, you scrub the gum and enamel away which leads to notching, decay, and cavities. Just remember, your enamel is kept perfectly clean by rinsing with water, eating fibrous food, and gentle rubbing
Dear Dr. Kim — My dentist says I have a cavity and I need a filling. But my tooth doesn’t hurt? – Ken A.
Dear Ken – We hear this often. Most dental problems don’t have any symptoms until they reach advanced stages.
Your teeth are made of layers. The first is very hard enamel. Slight bacterial growth in this layer may be reversible by flossing more & using fluoride.
When the bacteria has started to damage the layer below the enamel, we will recommend a filling at this time.
When bacteria reaches the third layer, that means the decay has reached the nerve tissue or is very close to the nerve. At this point you generally will have pain. Unfortunately, the infection is irreversible and more complicated treatments need to be done or you can lose the tooth altogether.
Waiting often makes problems more expensive to fix, so it is best to fix problems when it is not bothering you.
Learn more about us at www.NOADental.net and follow us on Instagram @NOADental. Call us this week to schedule an appointment at 661-857-7662.
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