How Long Should I Brush My Teeth?

How Long Should I Brush My Teeth?

Ugh. Mornings. In a half conscious, zombie-like state you may have faintly remembered picking up an object and scrubbing your teeth with it, standing under a stream of water and putting on pants, but before coffee nothing really matters… right? WRONG! It’s time to jump out of bed, take your position in front of the mirror, prepare your toothbrush and ready yourself for a routine revamp.

The first step is to change how long you brush your teeth. A few swipes and calling it a day is not the way to go; you must brush for at least 2 minutes every morning and night to achieve optimal cleanliness. Not brushing for that long could leave behind bacteria which can lead to serious problems such as gingivitis or periodontitis. Especially for children, try setting a timer or buying an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer to get an accurate read of the period spent cleaning.

Once your timing is on track it is equally, if not more, important to pay attention to how you are brushing. For best results use short, gentle strokes while moving back and forth around the surface of each tooth (be sure to focus further care on the gumline, hard-to-reach back teeth, and around restorations such as crowns and fillings). Once completed, clean behind your top and bottom teeth using the tip of the brush to reach the inner surfaces. Each section of your teeth should be cleaned as follows:

Brushing Teeth

How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth

Tooth Brush

  • Tilt brush to a 45° and sweep away from gumline
  • Using a back-and-forth motion, brush the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces of every tooth
  • To remove bacteria and freshen breath, brush your tongue once teeth are cleaned

Electronic toothbrushes are recommended as they clean teeth more efficiently, but if you prefer a manual brush, pick one with soft-bristles and a small head since it can reach all areas of the mouth. Remember that while brushing is vital to maintaining healthy teeth, do not use too much pressure. This could lead to the abrasion of gum tissue and enamel which is the main cause of tooth sensitivity. If you are unsure as to whether you are applying too much pressure or not, try using your non-dominant hand to brush your teeth- you will be shocked at the difference!

Happy brushing!