Brushing your teeth often seems like common sense—we’ve been doing it since we were kids (or so, I hope!). But if you don’t do it correctly, it can be a waste of time. And when you do it correctly, it can make all the difference between cavities and no cavities on your next check-up.
We often get asked here at our dental practice: “Is it possible to over brush my teeth? Can I hurt myself by brushing? And for how long should I be brushing my teeth?” Don’t be ashamed to not know the answers! We could always use a refresher and reminder for how to brush your teeth properly, after all.
Let’s break down the top three frequently-asked questions about brushing your teeth:
Can you brush your teeth too much?
No, you cannot brush your teeth too much! In fact, please brush as often as possible. Keep a toothbrush at work so you can brush after Friday morning donuts. Brush after lunch every day. In fact, just brush your teeth after every time you eat. Keeping the residue and plaque off your teeth at all times goes a long way in decreasing the formation of cavities in your mouth.
Can you hurt yourself by brushing your teeth?
You can’t brush too frequently, but it is possible to overdo it by being too rough. We love enthusiastic brushing, but we want you to be kind and gentle to your mouth. Pretend you’re brushing a tomato and you don’t want to puncture its skin—use that same amount of pressure when you’re brushing your teeth. Use a soft toothbrush with gentle bristles, too. You may feel like you’re not brushing hard enough or that the toothbrush is not working hard enough, but you really want flexible, bendable bristles that get under and clean around the gum line.
How long should you brush your teeth?
Every time you brush your teeth, aim for two minutes. That way, you’re hitting all four quadrants of the mouth for 30 seconds each. That’s why I usually recommend an electric toothbrush, which has a timer that beeps when you should switch to another side. We’re not the best judges of our own brushing, which is why brushing with a manual toothbrush can feel like two minutes when it really took you 20 seconds. Don’t deceive yourself—give yourself two minutes every time you brush your teeth!
Our RiseWell Natural Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste is the perfect accompaniment to your favorite toothbrush. The clean, sulfate-free formula allows you to brush as often as possible without worrying about harsh chemicals that can irritate your mouth. Read our blog on toxin exposure to learn more about these harsh chemicals. Remember: Brush often, brush gently, and brush for two minutes.
About Dr. Derek
He is not only Co-Founder of RiseWell. Dr. Derek Gatta is a partner at Dr Max & Dr Gatta PLLC in Boca Raton, Florida. If you are in the area, he is your go-to dentist!