At The Plano Dentist, we tell our patients to brush their teeth for a minimum of two minutes. Most people think they brush that long, but would be surprised if they actually set a timer. Many of us only brush for about a minute, if that.
Essential Dental Health
Brushing your teeth is an important part of your dental health routine. We recommend brushing not only for two minutes, but twice a day, and with a soft-bristled toothbrush. We strongly recommend flossing, too. Before or after you brush? The jury remains out on that one. We think before is better, but the most important thing is that you do it.
Be sure to get all over your teeth: the front and the sides, inside and out, and the tops. When you do the sides, be sure you brush along the gumline. Use a gentle touch, and hold the brush at a 45-degree angle.
As you do the front and side surfaces, move the brush in gentle, circular strokes.
Use a pea-sized blob of fluoridated toothpaste – or more than pea-sized, if you’re so inclined. Too much toothpaste is no big deal, but be sure to use enough.
Be sure the head of the toothbrush isn’t too big, especially if you have a smaller mouth. It needs to fit easily between your cheeks and gums. The handle is less important. Make sure it feels comfortable in your hand. Replace your toothbrush every three months, if not more often.
Plaque is soft and loose, so you don’t have to brush very hard to remove it. Think of it not so much as brushing, but massaging your teeth. With that in mind you should you be able to keep that light touch.
And remember, brush for at least two minutes. If you’re running late, and are tempted to cut it short, resist. If it helps, use a stopwatch. You’ve probably got one on your smart phone.
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