Unless you’re an oral hygiene enthusiast, you likely sometimes get confused about oral health basics, such as when to floss, how often to use mouthwash, or for how long you should be brushing your teeth.

Even if this topic isn’t among your favorites, prioritizing your oral health is essential to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. In fact, taking care of your dental hygiene helps ensure your overall health.

How Long Are You Supposed to Brush Your Teeth?

First of all, it’s important to realize that to ensure good health for your teeth and gums, you have to do more than just brush your teeth regularly. While such practice is crucial for good oral health, there are food particles in between your teeth and gum line that won’t be removed with brushing alone. Flossing helps. Mouthwash helps. But you also need routine teeth cleanings with your dentist. The frequency of professional cleanings depends on how fast your teeth build up tartar.

Getting back to the brushing question, since that’s a part you can control:

1. Brush more than once a day. The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice a day.

2. Brush for a full two minutes. Brushing for less time doesn’t remove all the food particles and film that grows on your pearly whites after every meal. Set a timer, keep an eye on the clock, or buy a two-minute hourglass sand timer to look at while you brush.

3. Change your toothbrush regularly. There’s no point in brushing for the recommended length of time if the bristles are worn down. Overused bristles won’t remove bacteria from your teeth. Change your toothbrush every three months. If you don’t want to be bothered by keeping track of the time on a calendar, purchase a toothbrush with a visual indicator of when it’s time to be replaced.

4. Choose soft bristles. While you may think that the harder the bristles, the better they brush, the reality is that the coarser material wears away at your tooth enamel.

5. Use a proper brushing technique. Once you have the proper toothbrush and know how long to brush, know that just sticking your toothbrush in your mouth and covering all of your teeth is not enough. For best results, brush at a 45 degree angle, in a rotating motion; and definitely remember to brush the back teeth.

It’s important to realize that bleeding gums while brushing your teeth is not normal. This is the result of plaque buildup attacking the tissue in your gums. If not removed properly, plaque will harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist. Left untreated, tartar can cause gum disease.

At Impeccable Smiles, we help you keep your oral health in optimal condition.

As previously mentioned, in addition to brushing your teeth, you must visit a dentist for routine cleaning, since brushing alone won’t remove tartar. At Impeccable Smiles, we understand that going to the dentist can make you anxious. However, one of our top priorities is making our patients feel welcome and comfortable.

Contact us today, and let us help you!