How hard should I brush?
Not this hard!
One of the major causes of gum recession is aggressive brushing. Over brushing or brushing harder does not get rid of the guilt for lack of flossing, That is a guilt about 80% of the population will have to find another absolution for. The idea that brushing harder makes your teeth cleaner is a fallacy. Once plaque has hardened into calculus you can not brush it off. The solution is to gently but thoroughly remove all the plaque before it has a chance too calcify or harden. Brushing your teeth harder in an attempt to whiten them has the exact opposite effect because you wear away the enamel which is the whiter part of the tooth. Your teeth are not a bath tub and if you scrubbed a bathtub twice a day for thirty years it would have no porcelain left either. Most studies show that a gentle thorough brushing works best.
Beer vs. Champagne
Here is a tip we often give: Do not hold the tooth brush with your whole hand like a scrub brush, just use two fingers. I often make the analogy instead of a beer mug hold your toothbrush like a champagne glass. This allows you better dexterity to get to hard to get areas and reduces the amount of pressure against the teeth and gums reducing the wear on the teeth.
Many people have strong lip and cheek muscles that push on the toothbrush. This can happen unconsciously simply because when you open your mouth the space next to your cheek decreases pushing the toothbrush against the teeth. This is especially true of people who have a small mouth opening. Other people actually consciously use the cheek muscles to put more pressure on the toothbrush and therefore the teeth. The solution is to close your mouth relax your lips and cheeks. This has the added benefit of keeping all the toothpaste splatter off the bathroom mirror.`