There are many societies where brushing teeth and using toothpaste are not the norm. We in the United States find this very odd. Remember, however, the reason we are so motivated to brush our teeth as a society has to do with TV advertising. This is mostly a good thing. However I need to point out two problems when we learn from advertisers. First, it is easy for us to believe that brushing is more important than flossing. It is not. What is true is that there is a larger toothbrush market by far than there is a floss market. Secondly, we come to believe that we should put a lot of toothpaste on our toothbrush.
Understand that in spite of what advertisers will tell you, the toothpaste is even unnecessary when it comes to disrupting plaque colonies. Am I saying you should not use toothpaste? Not really. What I am saying is that your purpose for using the toothpaste is primarily to make brushing more pleasant. If you are using toothpaste to whiten your teeth, be very careful. Overtime you can wear away the enamel by overuse of toothpaste. When this happens the teeth will become more sensitive to cold and be more yellow because dentin is a darker color than enamel.
What about too much force with a toothbrush? What does this do? Excess (traumatic) tooth brushing over time can result in injury to the gums. In some instances this can result in gum recession.
Are electric toothbrushes a good thing? If you are a power brusher, rather than attempting to “lighten up” I recommend you switch to an electric toothbrush. When using the electric toothbrush, hold you hand still and move slowly from one area to another.