Dental Hygienist Questions Teeth cleanings

Is it possible to brush my teeth way too much?

My mother says I brush my teeth way too much, but it's really just 4 times a day. I like brushing them in the morning, after my meals, and at night, which I don't think is much of a problem. Do you think that 4 times is excessive? What happens when you brush them this much in a day?

17 Answers

Yes....it can cause root exposure
Hi, you know the mother is always right! :-) in this case what’s important is to use proper brushing techniques and only Very Soft brush. If you have thing gums ( it’s an individual biotype) it could cause a recession with will cause a tooth abrasion that leads to tooth sensitivity and other issues that you don’t want. 4 times a day, 2 minutes each time is not too much but it depends how and what you brush with.
You can’t brush too much but you can brush too hard. Signs of aggressive brushing would be receding gums or root and tooth erosion.
Brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal is the best thing a person can do to maintain healthy teeth. No harm will come to your teeth as long as you are using a soft tooth brush and you are not exerting to much pressure on the teeth when you do it. Remember, let the bristles do the work for you.
Aren't mom's great? Mine is the same way. So, basically, you are doing what dentists have been advising their patients to do for forever, but no one ever does it. Make sure you are using a soft or extra soft toothbrush and also floss. You still need to visit the hygienist every 6 months to scrape away any calculus (tarter) that may have accumulated because that cannot be brushed away. You sound like an ideal patient.
Yes, it is possible to over brush, sometimes over brushing can cause abrasions on a tooth. Abrasion is commonly associated with incorrect/ over brushing techniques, giving rise to notching at the junction of the crown and root of teeth. Abrasions have been known to cause sensitivity ranging from mild to extreme, especially with cold food for drinks. Abrasions are repairable by your Dentist using a filling material to fill in the notches. Using a soft toothbrush bristle is highly recommended. Over-brushing can also lead to gum recession. It is important to see your dentist a least twice a year to catch these problems early.
3 times is good
You will damage your gums.
Absolutely not...I brush and floss at least 4 times a day myself. The only caveat to that is making sure you are not using an abrasive toothpaste and that your are brushing properly. I would recommend a simple paste, NOT tartar control or a whitening toothpaste and obtain proper hygiene instructions from your personal DDS.
Keepup the good work, but remember a few things! Hard brushing is NOT good brushing. Brush your teeth in gentle continuous circular motions, don’t traumatize your teeth and gum. Don’t brush immediately after meals, instead rinse your mouth with water first and give it about half an hour before brushing.
Foods can soften the enamel and if you brush it right away it can wear off the enamel, by rinsing your teeth you neutralize the acid, then calcium from your saliva gets a chance to rebuild the enamel. Brushing gets rid of the food debris, our mouth is full of bacteria they consume the same food that you eat, and their wastes are acidic, that acid makes holes in your teeth causing cavities!
Make sure you do not forget about flossing! Brushing with out flossing is literally not good enough!
I take the chance to mention water flossing is awesome but doesn’t replace manual flossing.
No problem. Not too much. Brush as much as you want.
Hello, that is an awesome question! I am so happy that you take such good care of your teeth. As long as you use a soft toothbrush and are not scrubbing your teeth/gums too hard to cause toothbrush abrasions on the cervical aspect of your teeth/gum recession, you should be fine. Please make sure you floss in between at least once a day, too.
Don’t worry. As long as you are not pressing really hard (do your bristles start to flatten out in a month?), then 4 times a day is perfectly okay.

Dr. Gochman
Wow, that is some great oral hygiene! As long as you are using a soft tooth brush and a small amount of non whitening toothpaste (these tend to be a bit more abrasive), then 4 times per day is not excessive. I’m sure you’re dental professional can tell if you are brushing too hard.
As long as you are using a soft or extra soft toothbrush with good technique (brushing with the way the teeth grow). It would be difficult to brush your teeth too often. If you have questions about proper technique, your hygienist or dentist should be able to help you. Alternatively, you can search "Modified Bass brushing technique."
If you are using a brush with soft or extra soft bristles, a minimal amount of a non-abrasive toothpaste (or none at all), and not scrubbing hard, you should be fine. Brushing too forcefully can damage the teeth and gums. The gums can be scraped away. Exposed root could then be abraded. Some electric toothbrushes let you know if you are using too much pressure. I see more people with disease from inadequate cleaning.
I am in your camp. I brush at least 4-5 times each day also. I also floss daily to remove debris from between my teeth. Brush GENTLY and thoroughly. Hold your brush loosely and do not transmit force from your arm/hand to your brush. The tips of your bristles are the cleaning part of your brush. Brushing too hard will cause damage. Brushing gently will not damage your teeth or gums.