Sometimes too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing—even when it comes to brushing your teeth. While there’s no denying the importance of oral hygiene, if quality time with your Sonicare toothbrush has taken your social life, you’re probably overdoing it.
Don’t let the fresh, clean feeling fool you—excessive brushing can damage your teeth and gums, warns NYC-based cosmetic dentist, Dr. Brian Kantor of Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor. “Over-brushing will thin out enamel, and because the enamel is thinner it will become more brittle,” he says. To safely remove plaque and avoid cavities, the expert recommends brushing twice a day for a total of two minutes (30 seconds per quadrant is ideal).
For those who can’t break the habit of brushing after every meal, Kantor says using a toothbrush with soft bristles can help you avoid a guilty conscience—as long as you remember to use a light hand. “People shouldn't use too much force while brushing to help maintain the gum tissue and to avoid abrading the enamel,” he adds. “Aggressive brushing can also cause sensitivity on the teeth.”