brushing tips

How to brush properly and how long you should brush

Here are the best tips for getting the most out of your everyday tooth brushing sessions, like how long you can brush your teeth, and how often.

How much will I need to brush my teeth?

The general rule is to have at least two teeth-brushing sessions each day: once in the morning when you wake up and once before going to bed. After each meal, and particularly after consuming sugary food, your dentist will also suggest brushing.

Brushing with busy work schedules more than twice a day isn’t always easy or feasible. But sticking to the minimum twice a day also has great oral health benefits, such as fresh and clean breath, eliminating plaque and residue, and avoiding stains.

If you wish to improve the brushing of your teeth during the day, we recommend that you keep a travel toothbrush and toothpaste at work, if possible. So after lunch or snacks, right before a major meeting, you can brush your teeth. If you can not hold a toothbrush and toothpaste at work, consider rinsing your mouth with water after a meal at least a few times. This phase will help loosen and get rid of any food left behind, and may even help clear any of those lunchtime odors.

How long will I brush my teeth for?

Each time you brush, dentists suggest to brush for two minutes. This number is based on the amount of time it takes to enter every quadrant of your mouth completely and extract as many plaque, bacteria and particles from food as possible.

If you haven’t been brushing at a time for two minutes or in the morning you’re a “brush-and-dash” type, you’ll find that the first few times feel much longer than two minutes. Be patient, and don’t let those extra seconds rush you for a hectic morning (or nighttime) routine.

Try setting a timer or playing a song while you brush, if you’re struggling to gage how long two minutes is. Most electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer. Patients with gingivitis or other forms of gum disease may find a difference of this kind of thorough brushing in overall oral health within a week or two. Even if you don’t have these kinds of oral health problems, you will find a change in your breath and can even see a decline in the staining.

Make sure that you are using soft, even pressure during the entire session, while you are brushing. Use a gentle toothbrush and never “scrub” the teeth and gums back and forth with the toothbrush. Instead, if you use a manual toothbrush, make tiny circles with your brush and look out for each tooth. Clean all the exposed surfaces (meaning the front, back, and top of each tooth) and spend some time brushing gently at the gum line. For an extra-fresh hygiene boost, you can also brush your lips, roof of the mouth and inside your cheeks.

Electrical toothbrushes (especially sonic ones), hardly require you to move the toothbrushes at all; just make sure they are in the right place. The vibrating bristles will do you the bulk of the job. No need to push too hard or use a scrubbing action to get the job done.

Should I over-brush my teeth?

Few people are in danger of taking too long to brush their teeth. There is little chance of harm if you brush for two and a half minutes instead of two, with the right gentle brushing technique.

Much more patients will experience the symptoms of too much tooth brushing. Patients who brush too hard can actually get “toothbrush abrasion” Abrasion from the toothbrush can contribute to the receding of gums and sensitive teeth. In particular, recessing gums will present greater problems down the road like cavities in the teeth’s exposed roots.

Bottom line: think less about hitting the two-minute limit, and then concentrate on the correct technique. Tell your dentist or hygienist if they find signs of toothbrush abrasion at your next teeth cleaning test or let them show you the correct procedure if you’re uncertain.

Follow the 2/2 dent brushing pattern: Try to follow the 2/2 brushing pattern for good oral health at a minimum. Clean twice a day, each time for two minutes, with correct technique. If there are more sessions you can fit in, perfect! After meals or sugary treats we especially suggest additional sessions.

Need professional consultation regarding your oral and dental health? Get the best dentist near you in Greeley CO.