Brush Frequency

How often should I brush my teeth?

Ideally, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, but three times a day is best.

More than three times a day will potentially wear down tooth enamel (the hard outer surface layer of your teeth) and potentially damage your gums.

When is the best time to brush my teeth?

Typically, it’s a good practice to brush your teeth soon after eating a meal. This helps remove the bacteria that has already begun to attack your tooth enamel.

Sometimes, though, it’s better to wait 30 minutes after eating before brushing. This is true when eating or drinking something acidic for example, like soda, sports drinks, or even certain types of fruits and juices. These acids weaken your tooth enamel, and brushing too soon could actually remove the softened enamel.

What is the proper technique for brushing?

Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, and use short strokes up and down, back and forth. Remember to brush outer and inner tooth surfaces, as well as the chewing surfaces of every tooth.

Don’t forget about hard-to-reach areas like back molars, and be careful not to bear down to hard. Gentle brushing is all you need to remove plaque.

Additionally, you should floss at least once a day to remove any food (and most importantly plaque) between your teeth.

How long do I need to brush?

You should take at least two minutes every time you brush.

Try dividing your mouth into four sections and spending 30 seconds brushing each. It’s good to start brushing in a different place every so often, as we tend to get lazy at the end. You could start a timer and then watch TV or listen to a song to help pass the time.

Nowadays, some toothbrushes even sync to your smartphone to track your brushing habits and let you know when to stop brushing!

How often should I replace my toothbrush?

You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months. If bristles are frayed or lose their flexibility, or they start to break, replace your toothbrush right away.

If I have good brushing habits, do I still need professional teeth cleanings?

Yes. A good oral health routine of brushing and flossing is the best defense against tooth decay and gum disease, but it’s still possible to develop hard deposits on your teeth that cannot be removed by daily brushing.

Schedule professional cleanings twice a year if your teeth are healthy, and more often if you have specific concerns regarding your oral health.