Daily brushing and flossing are required to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy. It's important that you don't overlook these vital tasks, but it is equally important that you do them correctly to avoid causing damage in the future.

The outer layer, or enamel, covering your teeth can begin to degrade if you brush too hard. Overbrushing can be dangerous, so it's important that you learn to recognize the signs of overbrushing and correct your technique immediately if you want to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.

Look at Your Toothbrush

A quick visual inspection of your toothbrush can let you know if you are overbrushing on a regular basis. A toothbrush that is used correctly will not show significant signs of wear in the bristles. If you are using too much force during brushing, the bristles on your toothbrush will begin to compact.

You will likely notice some splaying of the bristles as they begin to give under the pressure you apply each time you brush. Splayed bristles are a sure sign of overbrushing. You should hold your brush at an angle to your gumline and use only light pressure to avoid this problem.

Examine Your Gums

Another simple way to determine if you are overbrushing is to examine your gums after you have brushed your teeth for the day. If your gums appear to be red or are bleeding, you might be overbrushing.

There are some other oral problems that can lead to bleeding gums, like gum disease and gingivitis. You should have your dentist complete a full exam to check for the presence of these conditions. If you receive the all-clear from your dentist, then your bleeding gums are probably the result of overbrushing.

It can be beneficial to switch to a toothbrush with soft bristles so that you don't irritate and inflame your gums each time you brush.

Monitor Tooth Sensitivity

Sudden sensitivity of your teeth can also be a sign of overbrushing. Rigorous brushing thins out the protective enamel layer covering your teeth. This means that the sensitive root and nerve don't have as much of a buffer against the foods and beverages you consume.

Hot or cold items could affect the nerve more readily as a result of overbrushing. If you have never experienced sensitive teeth before and you suddenly start feeling sharp pains when consuming something hot or cold, you may be overbrushing. Use a delicate touch to prevent enamel wear in the future.

For more information, contact a dentist's office like Twin Cities Dental to determine if you might be overbrushing.