Brushing your teeth is something you should be doing every day, preferably after every meal. It helps remove food particles from between your teeth and eliminates plaque buildup on the surface of your tooth enamel.
But often should you really brush your teeth? And how long should each brushing last? These answers to these and other questions may surprise you.
Many dentists will recommend you brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice per day — once in the morning and once before bed at night. But that doesn’t tell you how long your brushing sessions should last.
A good rule of thumb is to brush your teeth approximately two minutes. Try using a stopwatch or your smartphone to gain an understanding of how long that is. If timekeeping devices aren’t immediately available use this trick: Sing the “Happy Birthday” song in your head two times as your brush your teeth. That’s about two minutes.
Breath Freshening Tips
Brushing your teeth will help keep your breath fresh. But you also can improve your chances of defeating bad breath by briefly brushing the surface of your tongue and the roof of your mouth at the end of the brushing session. This will remove the buildup of mucus that can cause bad breath.
It’s also really important that you floss after brushing. This removes food particles between teeth that can cause bad breath as they decompose over time. Follow flossing by rinsing your mouth with a good quality mouthwash.
The type of toothpaste you use to brush is important. Find one that you like. If you don’t like the flavor of a toothbrush, you are less likely to use it regularly. Most toothpaste sold in the US today contains fluoride, which helps strengthen your teeth and reduce the risk of cavities.
These toothbrushing tips will help keep your teeth clean, your breath fresh, and your smile bright.