Oral Hygiene

A Guide to Brushing Teeth

Why do dentists recommend brushing your teeth for at least  2 minutes?

While it might seem like a long time, brushing your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes ensures optimal coverage while brushing the front, back, inside and outside surfaces of your teeth. Studies have shown that traces of bacteria remaining after a brushing can lead to serious problems such as gingivitis or periodontitis. Data recorded in a collection of papers published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, discovered that people who brushed for one minute removed about 27% of plaque while people who brushed for two minutes removed around 41% of plaque on their teeth. Other related articles, published in the Journal of Dental Research, revealed that brushing less than two times a day was consistently associated with more tooth decay.

However, when it comes to brushing your teeth, technique is just as important as timing. That’s why the American Dental Association recommends following these steps to achieve optimal results :

  1. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums
  2. Move the brush back and forth gently in short (tooth-wide) strokes
  3. Brush the outer surfaces, the inside surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of all teeth
  4. To clean the inside surface of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes
  5. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh

Following these steps, and taking at least 4 minutes out of your day, is a small price to pay for a healthy smile.