Toothbrush wear also known as toothbrush abrasion is the damage caused by brushing too hard, or using a toothbrush that is too hard. It is a direct result of excessive force when brushing, the heavy mechanical friction wears down the enamel and can cause the gums to shrink back or recede.

The people most at risk for tooth or gum damage from brushing are those who use medium- or hard-bristled toothbrushes, and those who tend to ‘scrub’ their teeth instead of using the gentle circular motion to clean.

Plaque is soft, so brushing vigorously isn’t necessary to remove plaque. There is no extra benefit too brushing hard or using a medium or hard toothbrush.

Changing brushing habits can usually stop the problem from getting worse. In cases of severe toothbrush abrasion, the grooves can be filled with tooth-coloured filling material to replace what has been worn away and lost.

Proper brushing technique

What’s important when brushing your teeth is not how hard you scrub, but that you use the proper technique and that you do a thorough job. This takes time, ideally you should be brushing your teeth for 2-3 minutes to get the most thorough clean.

The following are some other tips for brushing your teeth correctly:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent gum damage and wear on the tooth surface. dentin
  • Place the head of your toothbrush with the tips of the bristles at a 45-degree-angle to the gum line when brushing.
  • Move the toothbrush with short strokes and a scrubbing motion, several times in each spot – don’t scrub back and forth across the teeth with your toothbrush.
  • Apply just enough pressure to feel the bristles against the gums. If you are squashing the bristles, you’re brushing too hard.