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Knowing How Long to Brush Really Helps Keep Teeth Clean

Posted on 8/10/2020 by Jonathan J. Golab, DDS, PA
Knowing How Long to Brush Really Helps Keep Teeth CleanA report published in 2009 shows that most people hardly brush longer than 45 seconds. While it's understandable that most of them are high performers or people working multiple shifts who're pressed for time, it's also no surprise why tooth decay is the most prevalent disease in the world today. The best defense against dental ailments is proper oral hygiene, with proper brushing as the cornerstone. Proper brushing can help you nib the buildup of plaque and cavities before they cause any damage, helping prevent ailments such as gum diseases and certain oral cancer.

The effectiveness of your brushing habits depends on your unique personal needs. People with different eating habits and lifestyles will require different brushing habits to maintain tiptop oral health. However, we generally recommend brushing twice every day for at least 2 minutes per round. Our recommendation is backed by results of several studies. One such study, which examined the correlation between plaque removal and brushing time in 47 people, showed that prolonging brushing time from 45 seconds to 2 minutes enhances plaque removal by 26% per time.

We might even recommend brushing up to 3 more minutes for people with certain lifestyle habits such as smoking, excessive drinking, tobacco consumption, etc. We'll always recommend the exact amount of time you need to brush your teeth under – no more, no less. Not brushing long enough can precipitate oral diseases and brushing for too long might expose you to the risks of damaging your gums and enamel.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Brushing?

The timing and hardness of the brushing are much more important than how long you brush. Brushing three times a day or after each meal is a good oral habit for everyone, but you need to avoid brushing too hard or too soon after consuming acidic foods or drinks. Brushing too hard can wear off your enamel, and as does brushing right after consuming acidic foods that can soften the enamel temporarily.

Wondering if you're at risk of oral problems because you've not been brushing long enough or have been brushing for too long? Reach out to our dentists today and let us examine the effectiveness of your brushing habits with highly-trained eyes.
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