Receding Gums and Electric Toothbrushes: What You Need to Know

While electric toothbrushes can be a useful tool to keep your smile both beautiful and healthy, knowing how to properly use it is essential. Those who do not use the brush properly can cause trauma to the delicate tissues of the gums, which can lead to the gums receding. This recession can lead to food and bacteria intruding into the bone below, causing decay and infection. If you do not know how to properly use an electric toothbrush, you should stop using it until your dentist can provide proper instructions.

You Don’t Need a ‘Tingle’

Plenty of people using a manual toothbrush will scrub until they feel a tingling sensation in their gums. Many were taught as children that this is a sign that the brushing is doing its job. However, this is actually a sign you are being too overzealous. If you like the tingly feeling while brushing, use a stronger mint paste and go easier with the brush.

You Shouldn’t Need a New Brush Every Few Weeks

A toothbrush should be replaced every three months. If yours becomes frayed and worn out long before it should need to be tossed, you’re likely brushing way too hard. This is not good for your gums and can even erode the enamel right off your teeth! Brush in gentle circles, whether using a manual or electronic toothbrush.

Beware Hard Bristles

While toothbrushes are sold in soft, medium and hard varieties, you should use soft bristles to avoid inflicting trauma upon your gums. This is especially imperative should you already have sensitive mouth tissues or experience bleeding after brushing. Ask your dentist if you should be used a harder bristle. Chances are, he or she will advise you to stick with the soft option.

Be Mindful While Flossing

Flossing trauma is also a cause of receding gums. Take care not to ram the floss down into your gums. Avoid snapping the floss or sawing violently. If you are having trouble removing food particles wedged between teeth, a device such as a Waterpik may be right for you. If your gums are sore or bleeding after flossing, ask your dentist for a tutorial to avoid further damage.

Don’t Use Enthusiastic Oral Care to Avoid the Dentist

Some people, in an attempt to save money, time or both, will brush vigorously and floss with verve, thinking this will allow them to avoid the dentist’s chair. By the time you do break down and see a dentist, the damage may be extensive and expensive to treat. Keep your six-month checkups and let your dentist or the hygienist do the deep cleaning.

Electric toothbrushes can be a great tool for keeping your teeth white and decay-free. However, overzealous brushing and flossing can lead to receding gums, bone damage and infections.

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