Stop Putting Toothpaste on Your Toothbrush
Avoid Pain and And Save Beaucoup Dental $$
One of the biggest problems I see in my dental office is tooth abrasion from toothpastes and toothbrushes.
Every day, nearly every new patient has some amount of tooth abrasion and gum recession — DESPITE having seen other dentists for years!
In addition to sensitivity and pain, the damage often ends up costing them hundreds to thousands of dollars — even though it’s at least 80% preventable.
Yet, when I tell them about tooth abrasion and how to avoid it, they are dumbfounded — as if nobody had ever told them exactly what to do.
Problem: Tooth abrasion and gum recession
What it is:
- Exposed tooth roots, damaged roots, receding gums
What life is like with it:
- Sensitive teeth to cold, hot (air and liquids), sweets, touching, mint, acids
- Embarrassment to smile or have photos because the darkened roots can show
- Food catches in the abraded areas, sometimes brushing hurts
- Since roots are half as mineralized as enamel, the roots are easy to dissolve in acidic foods and drinks
- Roots are much softer than enamel, so you can easily damage them with toothbrushes and toothpaste
- High risk of tooth decay, decay occurs more quickly on exposed, damaged roots
What life is like without it:
- Better eating and drinking, more smiling, less risk of tooth decay, saving tons of money down the road, better brushing, better dental prevention
What causes it:
- There are several causes, some of which are unavoidable, (braces, bad crowns, bad habits, grinding and clenching teeth) but you can mostly avoid this problem with proper dental fitness as outlined below and in my video https://youtu.be/0Lk90UiZIL8
* The Main Cause of Tooth Abrasion is — putting toothpaste on your toothbrush!
That’s right — by far, the main cause of tooth abrasion and gum recession is from putting toothpaste on your brush and then brushing your teeth incorrectly.
To understand this better, think of putting some abrasive cleanser on a scrub brush and scrubbing your kitchen countertops starting from the same spot every day. Where do you think you will see the most scratches and damage from the abrasives? That’s right — it’s where you first start scrubbing.
The same thing happens in your mouth. Most people are habitual and they will put the toothpaste on their brush and begin scrubbing their teeth sideways from the same spot every day. After finishing one region, they move to another, but the toothpaste is now diluted and mostly foam, so it’s less abrasive. You get the worst abrasion from the fresh toothpaste in the first place you start. After several brush strokes, the toothpaste is less concentrated and less abrasive. Therefore, the last place you brush contains the least amount of abrasive gets the least wear. Whenever I see toothbrush abrasion that’s worse on one side of the mouth, I say to the patient, “This is where you start brushing, right?”
They look at me weirdly, then move their hand in a mock-toothbrushing motion and say, “Hey, you’re right — how did you know?”, as if I’m a magician.
I tell them that they get the worst abrasion where they start and the least where they finish because they are essentially just brushing with foam after the first several strokes.
- Since you don’t put fresh toothpaste for each tooth …
- … and toothpaste foam is good enough for most of your teeth …
- … and foam causes the least damage…
- why not simply put a blob of toothpaste in your mouth, swish and squish it around and turn it into foam, and then brush the foam!
- You’ll do just as well with the least abrasion. But you must also brush correctly. Watch my toothbrushing video here: https://youtu.be/0Lk90UiZIL8
Of course, there are other reasons for gum recession and tooth wear, including orthodontics, teeth grinding, teeth clenching, certain habits, oral appliances that rub, etc. But by far, the biggest cause is improper use of toothpastes and toothbrushes.
In addition, there are other benefits for squishing toothpaste and foaming it up. Primarily, you will finally be getting some toothpaste between your teeth, where it will actually do some extra good. Because much sticky dental plaque resides between teeth, most toothpastes don’t get between the teeth very well unless you force the pastes by flossing, squishing, using a brushpick, or whatever else you can think of. Squishing and swishing the toothpaste between your teeth before brushing will help to force some plaque out from between your teeth and replace it with toothpaste. This will help you avoid cavities between your teeth. I’ve been squishing and swishing toothpaste between my teeth since 1965 when I was 10 years old. It works.
If you like my articles, you might like my Dental Fitness Masterclass in which you learn how to supercharge your Oral/Systemic Health by up to 9X in 30 days or less.