How Long Should You Really Brush Your Teeth For? 

Have you ever wondered if the old adage “Brush your teeth for 2 minutes” is the correct answer? If you said yes, you are like millions of other Americans who ask the same question. In today’s article, we hope to help put that question to bed and give a definite answer to if 2 minutes is the perfect amount of time for teeth brushing. Stay tuned to really see how long should you really brush your teeth.

Dental factors that come into play:

So like anything scientific perimeters must be put in to make sure we provide the most accurate information. In this article, we will discuss two versions of brushing your teeth. The first will be with a normal non-electric toothbrush. The second is with a sonic toothbrush. Additionally, we are factoring in that the user is also using an ADA-recommended toothpaste and has no medical conditions that would affect their need for brushing like smoking, etc. Lastly, we will assume that both patients floss their teeth once a day and uses mouthwash accordingly. 

non electric toothbrush example

Brushing with a nonelectric toothbrush 

The ADA found that The consensus recommendation is for people to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day with a toothbrush that has soft bristles. The recommended technique for brushing is the following, 30 seconds brushing each section of your mouth (upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left), both morning and night.

You may have some work to do. In one study from The Journal of Dental Hygiene, they found that the average American brushes their teeth for less than 45 seconds. That is almost a third of the recommended 2 minutes. You may ask “does it matter”? Absolutely. The same study found that brushing for two minutes removed 26% more plaque than brushing for 45 seconds. That’s a lot of plaque, that if left on your teeth regularly, could lead to cavities, gum disease, or worse. 

Electric Toothbrush example

Brushing with an electric toothbrush (sonic) 

 So after reading the above section you may be wondering “well if the nonelectric takes two minutes, does the electric toothbrush speed up the process?” The answer is unfortunately no. Electric toothbrushes still going to take 2 minutes to clean your teeth but will clean your teeth more efficiently and more effectively. A review of dental studies found that after three months of use, plaque was reduced by 21 percent and gingivitis by 11 percent while using electric toothbrushes. 

How to properly brush your teeth

How you hold the toothbrush depends on which part of the tooth you’re brushing.

  • Step 1: Start with outer and inner surfaces, and brush at a 45-degree angle in short, half-tooth-wide strokes against the gum line. Make sure you reach your back teeth.
  • Step 2: Move on to chewing surfaces. Hold the brush flat and brush back and forth along these surfaces.
  • Step 3: Once you get to the inside surfaces of your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and use gentle, up-and-down strokes with the tip of the brush.
  • Step 4: Be sure to brush gently along the gum line.
  • Step 5: Brush your tongue in a back-to-front sweeping motion to remove food particles and help remove odor-causing bacteria to freshen your breath.Now that you’ve learned the proper brushing technique, a little discipline in practicing it every day will help make it feel like second nature. It’s one of the easiest things you can do to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.

The final consensus 

After much research and reading through journals from the brightest minds in dentistry, we have come to the conclusion that 2 minutes of brushing is the best time to brush your teeth for both traditional and electric toothbrushes. 

Who is Woodland Family Dental?

Woodland Family Dental is one of Duluth, Minnesota’s top family dental offices. with over 100 five-star reviews on Google and Facebook, our team makes it our mission to provide the best dentistry for anyone that needs it. Our experienced team of dentists offers a wide array of dental services including general cleanings, cosmetic dentistry, and dental implants. Woodland Family Dental is here to help you with your dental needs. Not to mention our great location on Miller Trunk Highway right next to the mall in Duluth, Minnesota. Woodland Family Dental cares about helping our patients and accepts almost all insurance. Set up an appointment today and see why so many families love us. Additionally, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date, get more tips, and learn about what our team is up to.

Additionally, Woodland Family Dental is proud to have been awarded Duluth’s Best Dentist, Duluth’s Best Dental Clinic, and Duluth’s Best Denture awards by the 2022 CommunityVotes Duluth. To learn more about our award-winning practice give us a call today.

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