If we do anything too much, there are consequences. Too much eating, we get obese. Too much exercise, we get injured. Too much work, we get burned out.
In the arena of the mouth, we can also be abusive by trying something too much. In fact, in 2005, I was involved with a story about over-bleaching called Bleacharexics Risk Much for White Smile. This patient had ignored the advice of the dentist and the product instructions on their quest for brighter teeth. In the process, they destroyed their gums.
Here are the top 7 reasons people destroy their mouths:
1. Brushing too hard. People may think that the harder they brush, the cleaner their mouth gets. This is not true. Brushing too hard can cause permanent gum tissue loss and wear down one’s teeth.
2. Brush with abrasive toothpaste. Some toothpastes are abrasive to your teeth and gums. Be aware of uncomfortable feelings while brushing. If you start to feel discomfort or pain, talk with your dentist about better alternatives for your specific mouth conditions.
3. Rinsing too often. Sometimes people think that if they rinse 38 times per day it could be beneficial. Not true. It is only necessary to rinse after every drink, meal or snack.
4. Forcing a small brush between teeth. Most people can use dental floss effectively. Sometimes, people use a small inter-dental brush to clean between teeth. Warning – if there is not enough space for the brush, don’t force it. Forcing the brush can cause permanent gum loss or tooth breakage.
5. Flossing too hard. Flossing should be a gentle way to clean between teeth. Using floss with excessive pressures can lead to cutting the gums and forming a cleft. The cleft can accumulate harmful germs and food.
6. Placing acidic products in their mouth. Placing a lozenge, candy or medication in the cheeks can lead to permanent acid damage to teeth, gums and bone. Even a small baby aspirin can cause acid damage to teeth!
7. Sucking on lemons. The low pH can lead to destroying teeth. Teeth may require crowns, fillings or root canals. Beware of acid damage from fruits and vegetables.
In your quest for a healthier mouth, remember to follow prevention and treatment recommendations from your dentist. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!