You’ve heard it time and time again — brushing twice per day is the first step in a strong dental care routine. While that recommendation may be as ingrained in your head as “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” don’t take it for granted.
You’ve heard it time and time again — brushing twice per day is the first step in a strong dental care routine. While that recommendation may be as ingrained in your head as “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” don’t take it for granted. Taking the right approach to brushing will only maximize its effectiveness at eliminating plaque. That means not only using the proper techniques (e.g., hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and use gentle pressure) but also spending enough time brushing.
Taking 30 seconds to brush your teeth before you head out the door is better than nothing, but it’s not ideal. Taking the appropriate amount of time can keep your teeth cleaner and prevent cavities from developing.
How long do you need to brush?
The American Dental Association recommends brushing for at least two full minutes every time.1 This comes out to at least 30 seconds per quadrant of your mouth (upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right).
Why should you brush your teeth for two minutes?
Brushing removes plaque — a sticky, bacteria-laden substance left behind by food — from the surfaces of your teeth. Eliminating plaque reduces your risk of cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease2 — the latter of which is also associated with other medical issues such as heart disease. When you brush longer, you remove more plaque.
According to research, increasing brushing duration is closely associated with an increase in removing plaque, with the best results occurring between three and four minutes of brushing.3
Brushing isn’t the only way to remove plaque. You should also floss every day and see your dentist for a cleaning every six months. But brushing for two full minutes twice per day is a terrific place to start.
How can you make sure you brush long enough?
If you aren’t sure you’re brushing long enough, use the timer on your phone or play a song that’s at least two minutes long. If you’re a Beam member, you can also download our mobile app to track your brushing time! The app comes with a timer that can connect to the Beam Brush via Bluetooth and automatically log your brush times. You can also set the brush to automatically buzz every 30 seconds to alert you to switch to a new quadrant of your mouth and turn off after two minutes. Using a different toothbrush? No problem! The app also has a manual timer to help you brush long enough every time.
≃ For informational purposes only and not intended to be relied on as complete information, or to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice. This is not a sale of or an offer to purchase a benefits plan from Beam. For more information about your benefits plan, contact firstname.lastname@example.org