Common Questions About Brushing Teeth

How often should I brush my teeth?

Tooth brushes

Most patients recognise that good brushing habits can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
One of the most common questions we are asked by our patients is “how often should I brush my teeth?”.

We recommend that our patients brush their teeth twice a day, for approximately two minutes each time. Brushing for any less than two minutes is unlikely to remove all the plaque from your teeth.

A study completed in 2009 revealed that many people only brush for around 45 seconds. By increasing the brushing time to two minutes, the same people managed to remove over 26% more plaque from their teeth.

When is the best time to brush my teeth?

While many dentists recommend brushing after each meal, this is not always practical with today’s busy lifestyle. So, when is the best time to brush your teeth?

We recommend brushing your teeth right before going to bed, and when you get up in the morning.
Brushing before bed not only ensures your mouth is clean while you sleep, but can also help form part of a bedtime routine which is proven to make going to sleep easier.

There are two choices for brushing in the morning; before or after breakfast.

Cautions to be taken with acidic foods

One thing we ask our patients to keep in mind is that eating acidic foods or drinks (such as orange juice) can soften your tooth enamel. Brushing too soon after eating these foods can result in damage, particularly if you are a strong brusher.

Brushing before an acidic breakfast, or waiting an hour after you finish, will minimize the damage to your enamel.

More dental tips coming soon

Just as important as how often you brush is “how you brush”, and this will be included in a blog post on our website soon. Getting the frequency and the method of brushing right, along with regular dental check-ups, will give you the best chance of having healthy teeth and gums well into old age.

Of course, this information is of a general nature. If you would like personal dental advice, it is always best to visit your dentist.