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What is Dry Brushing?

Woman smiling with toothbrush

Dry brushing is what it’s called when you brush your teeth without using toothpaste or water. The reason for occasionally dry brushing is to learn how to better clean your teeth without the aid of toothpaste.

Reasons to Occasionally Try Dry Brushing

Below are a few reasons to try dry brushing:

  • There are some toothpaste brands that contain oils such as glycerin. These oils will leave a coating on the tongue and the teeth, making them feel cleaner than they actually are.
  • The above oils coat the tongue, affecting the tactile sensitivity of the tongue. This makes all the tooth surfaces feel smoother and, thus, cleaner than they make actually be. When you’re dry brushing, your tongue is better able to feel the thick, furry plaque that accumulates around the gums and between the teeth. This allows you to really target the problem areas.
  • Most bristles on toothbrushes these days are made from nylon. Nylon bristles don’t need to be soaked like they did back when the bristles were made from hard bristles, such as horsehair. This makes dry brushing perfect for nylon toothbrushes. Wetting nylon bristles before using them may cause them to soften, providing less effective brushing. 
  • Lastly, the minty fresh taste of toothpaste gives us a false sense of security that our mouths are clean, and our breath is fresh. If you brush without toothpaste, you will find yourself automatically brushing longer, since your mouth doesn’t feel or smell clean when it may not be. If you’re concerned about your breath, try using mouthwash after you brush.

Remember, dry brushing should only be done occasionally since fluoride toothpaste helps battle tooth decay and dental cavities. Not brushing at all will allow plaque and tartar to build up around the gums, causing gum disease, periodontitis, and eventual tooth loss.

If you’re concerned about gum disease, please don’t hesitate to call Coastal Periodontics. Our gum disease specialist is located here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Posted on Oct 30, 2019
Image Credit:
File ID 27300136 | © ipag | Dreamstime.com

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