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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How long should I brush my teeth each time?

    Related Topic
    What is the minimum amount of time I should be brushing my teeth each time?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • ProCare Family Dental is a general dental practice. We treat all patients, from the very young to the elderly. We also see patients with disabilities … View Profile

    It is not the time spent brushing which really is of concern but more about how well you are cleaning all surfaces of your teeth. If you use the time well cleaning all the surfaces then it should not take you too long.

    The best way to know how well you are cleaning is to use a disclosing tablet or solution which selectively stains plaque on the teeth. These show up as bright pink after you rinse. After brushing your teeth apply this disclosing material on your teeth liberally and then rinse. Any areas which you have missed will show in pink. This way you will know how well you are cleaning and allocate the proper time or better still see your dentist and they will tell you where you are lacking in the cleaning and how to clean these areas better.

    Being efficient with toothbrushing and flossing is the key to better oral health. The time taken is immaterial. Just make sure you are removing all the plaque.

  • Jaffar Dental - Trusted and Established since 1997. We are a family owned General Dental Practice offering a friendly and caring environment in Waterford QLD. … View Profile

    1-2 minutes depending on the number of teeth and amount of build up of plaque due to your diet.

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    Most patients make the mistake of scrubbing back and forth instead of circular tooth polishing. Scrubbing makes the bristles ride the bumps and misses the spaces between the teeth where 2 out of 3 cavities begin. Polish each tooth surface for a count of ten. Outside, topside and inside. If you use a manual tooth brush this could take FIVE minutes but with an electric toothbrush it will probably only take TWO minutes. I tell all my patients to buy an electric toothbrush It will be the best $30 dollars that you ever spend on your teeth.

  • We are committed to providing comprehensive, high quality dental care and service, that which we would expect for ourselves and our families. Our treatment philosophy … View Profile

    Time is important when cleaning your teeth: 2 mins should be enough for most people. But technique is more important. Scrubbing the teeth back and forth can lead to gum recession and tooth brush abrasion so brushing in a circular motion is better and more efficient. Better yet, invest in a good power tooth brush which will minimise the risk of these issues and are much more thorought than manual tooth brushes. Also, try spitting after brushing and NOT rinsing with water. This will leave behind the flouride which will help to reduce the risk of tooth decay.

  • Principal Dentist at Darlinghurst Dental, a high quality, affordable practice located in the heart of Darlinghurst. A high emphasis on customer service and impeccable cross … View Profile


    It seems the reason you are confused is there is conflicting advice. The minimum I recommend is 2 minutes.

    This should be approximately split into four 30 second intervals. Each 30 seconds can be used for an aspect of your teeth

    1 - outside of the top (touching your cheek and lips)

    2 - inside of the top (facing towards your palate)

    3 - outside of bottom teeth

    4 - inside of bottom teeth.

    The most effective technique is to use little circles with your brush, angling it at a 45 degree angle towards the gum. After several strokes, rotate the brush in a sweeping motion towards the biting surface of the tooth. This is called the modified bass technique.

    You will not be able to do this at the lower front teeth, so instead bring the brush from above down to the gum, so the handle is facing upwards, again at 45 degrees. Use an upward sweeping motion. At the end some brushing back and forth along the biting surfaces of the teeth completes the brushing.

    Some people find the coordination to do circular motion difficult. In this case, you can gently use a back and forth motion instead of circles. You should be careful though, as too much pressure can damage the gum.

    Using an electric brush can be beneficial. For those with poor technique, it does the hard work for them. It also allows less pressure to be used. Many brushes have an automatic timer to let you know when to move between areas and how long to spend brushing.

    As it is such a common question, you have inspired me to put this post up on our website! So thanks for that.


    Dr Frank Farrelly

    30 Burton St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010

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