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Could toothbrushing be detrimental to dental health?
Updated: 5/6/2008 4:00:13 PM

A dentist and naturopathic doctor has suggested that brushing teeth could sometimes do more harm than good.

Speaking to CBS4, Dr Stephen Green expressed concern that regular vigorous brushing of the teeth could damage the gum line, which in turn reveals the softer root of the tooth.

The root surface is more likely to be damaged by toothpaste and brushing, particularly by the more abrasive whitening toothpastes now on the market, Dr Green said.

He suggested that with today's fluoride toothpastes, it is possible to cut back on brushing without causing cavities.

"I tell my patients to thoroughly clean their mouth once every day … I think that's all that's necessary," he revealed.

Dr David Bennett, another dentist, told the news provider that the bristles on toothbrushes are polished to decrease the risk of abrasions, so they should be changed regularly to prevent that disappearing.

"If that polish wears off, it becomes more abrasive and it can actually [cause] damage," he said.

In addition, he recommended that people use an electric toothbrush or one with soft bristles.

By contrast, the president of the Florida Dental Association recently suggested that brushing is the key to good oral health.
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