As soon as we're old enough to hold a toothbrush we're told to brush thoroughly, at least twice a day, for strong, gleaming white teeth.
But turns out, overzealous brushing can actually cause receding gums. This is when your gums pull back from the surface of your teeth, exposing the root and making your teeth appear longer.
"Exposed tooth roots can cause sensitivity and tooth decay is more prone to developing on these rough root surfaces", says Dr Imogen Bexfield, lead dentist and founder of . "It can also be unsightly as the roots are yellow."
If you've noticed something like this going on inside your gob, here's what you need to know...
I tried swilling coconut oil in my mouth for whiter teeth and couldn't believe what happened
'Hard' toothbrushes are bad
We're not even sure why hard bristles are an option to be honest, because they can cause more harm than good.
"Brushing your teeth too hard with an abrasive toothbrush can damage the gums and cause recession", says Dr Imogen.
Always opt for soft bristles and lessen your pressure. "You don’t need to brush the teeth hard to brush effectively."
"An electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor can be a good idea", says Dr Imogen. "And a nice smooth toothpaste with no abrasive grains in it."
We are huge fans of - the first an app-enabled smart electronic toothbrush with Artificial Intelligence.
Using sensors and advanced algorithms the brush and app can help you spot missed areas by tracking where and how you brush. Designed with the help of dentists, the brush also features sonic vibrating technology to thoroughly clean and protect your smile - genius!
Receding gums can also be caused by gum disease
If you've recently had a bout of gum disease, this is another common cause of gum recession.
"Plaque on the teeth and gums make them puffy and when the gums are cleaned by the dentist and the gum disease resolves, the gums shrink back and expose the root surface of the tooth", says Dr Imogen.
Some people are more prone to receding gums more than others
If you have 'thin' gums, you can be more prone to recession than others. But no matter what, the key is to be gentle with your brushing.
Suffering from other tooth ailments? Read our complete mouthcare guide here...