How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth For?

How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth For?

If you're concerned about keeping up with good oral hygiene, you may be wondering how long to brush your teeth for the best results. You want to be sure that you know how to clean teeth. So how long is good enough?

Many dentists agree that proper brushing takes at least two minutes while many insist that people must brush for three minutes — one and a half minutes on both the upper teeth and the bottom teeth. Most people don't even come close to brushing for two minutes, let alone three. There are also electronic toothbrushes that have self-timers to help you get back on track.

Though it is important to pay attention to how long you're brushing, it's even more important to make sure all surfaces are clean. Remember to brush using short strokes, moving back and forth against the teeth and gums, around the surface of every tooth. Use the tip of the brush to reach behind each front tooth on the top and bottom. In addition, don't forget flossing, it is equally important as how to clean teeth.

If you don't brush your teeth long enough, you may not be getting your teeth clean enough as the bacteria left out can lead to serious problems such as gingivitis or periodontitis.

Can too much brushing be detrimental? It's not an issue of brushing for too long, it's an issue of applying too much pressure when brushing. Using too much pressure can cause abrasion of the enamel and of the gum tissue, which can lead to tooth sensitivity. Many experienced dentists have always recommended to try using your non-dominant hand to brush - you may be amazed to realize just how much pressure you are applying.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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How to FLOSS

  1. Pull 18 to 24 inches of dental floss from the floss dispenser.

  2. Wrap the ends of the floss around your index and middle fingers.

  3. Hold the floss tightly around each tooth in a C shape; move the floss back and forth in a push-pull motion and up and down against the side of each tooth.

How to BRUSH

  1. Place the toothbrush at a 45°angle along the gum line. Move the toothbrush in a back and forth motion, and repeat for each tooth.

  2. Brush the inside surface of each tooth, using the same back and forth technique.

  3. Brush the chewing surface (top) of each tooth.

  4. Use tip of brush to brush behind each tooth — front and back, top and bottom and up and down strokes.

  5. Be sure to brush your tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria.

Don’t brush off your oral health

Brushing and flossing are the keys to a healthy smile. Check out of products to find what’s right for you.