Dental hygiene: How long should you be brushing your teeth?

We all know that brushing your teeth is important to keep your breath fresh and smile luminous but how long should you really be going at it?

Dental hygiene is multi-faceted and not as straight-forward as you might think. From the tools you use to the technique you are applying down to even the frequency at which you are brushing, teeth-cleaning is not a no-brainer.

Is two minutes of teeth-brushing enough?

So, is there an ideal amount of time you should be brushing your teeth in order to make sure you get it right?

For a very long time, as early as the 70's to be exact, there seemed to have been a consensus agreed upon by dentists that two minutes was enough to ensure a clean smile. But more recent studies, though not the most up to date, have said that brushing your teeth anywhere from three to four minutes was optimal time to remove the most amount of plaque as possible.

However, the question as to whether or not an exact amount of time can be considered the best is actually one that should not be given too much importance. This is because everyone has a different set of teeth that require more or less brushing. For instance, those who have braces require a bit more time and frequency as more gunk can get stuck in lieu of the wires.

Instead, what you should be investing time in (and money!) is the way you are brushing your teeth, and what you are using in your mouth to keep it clean. Flossing, often over looked, is perhaps even more important than brushing all together as that's the stuff that will make sure gingivitis doesn't accumulate.

What about flossing and mouth washes?

Other factors to consider include the kind of tooth brush you are using and the bristles attached to the head of your toothbrush. Further, mouth wash and toothpaste should also be carefully considered.

The take away? Although some experts believe in brushing your teeth anywhere between three to four minutes for optimal plaque-removal, this is contingent on each individual's particular case. Instead, focus more on developing a routine that covers the full spectrum of teeth-brushing.

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