Four minutes of brushing teeth a day plays a big part in keeping your mouth healthy and smile bright. It’s an important habit that everyone should do—and do well, if you know the answers to these common teeth brushing questions.
How long should I brush my teeth?
Ideally, everyone should brush their teeth at least twice-a-day for two minutes every time. There are several ways to track you (and your family’s) brushing time:
- Set a timer.
- Use a tooth brushing app (especially fun for kids, along with these other brushing teeth tricks that help kids learn to brush).
- Set an alarm in a phone or tablet with a crazy alarm tone (another fun way for kids and for adults who are still kids at heart!)
- Have a two-minute dance party while brushing.
- Brush together as a family.
- Role model good brushing habits (and length of time).
How often should I floss?
The American Dental Association flossing recommendation is that tooth brushers floss at least once a day. It doesn’t matter when you floss or if you floss before or after you brush, however it should be done on a regular basis.
Flossing is important because it removes food and plaque that can cause cavities. Regular brushing and flossing also freshens breath and reduces the risk for gum disease.
What is good teeth brushing?
Good teeth brushing starts with a regular routine, a good tooth brush, and the right toothpaste. The tooth brusher should brush with a soft-bristled tooth brush and circular strokes. Anyone with sensitive teeth should use a soft-bristled tooth brush and tooth paste specially formulated to ease sensitive teeth pain. A quick swish with fluoridated mouth wash also helps remove food particles and strengthen tooth enamel.
Twice-a-year dental cleanings removes those food particles and plaque that may be missed (especially in hard-to-reach areas) when brushing teeth. Your dentist can also spot and make you aware of any areas that you may miss during regular teeth brushing.
How should I brush my child’s teeth?
Kids aren’t able to brush their teeth properly until they are around age 6. Before that, parents should brush their child’s teeth or do a quick brush after kids are done to keep kids’ teeth clean.
To brush a young child’s or toddler’s teeth, put a tiny amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush (about the amount of a pea). The child should sit or stand in a position that is comfortable and gives the parent access. For brushing teeth, the parent should use soft strokes and brush at a 45-degree angle. When done, brushing can turn into a learning moment as the child learns to spit and rinse their mouth.
How often should I replace my tooth brush?
The tooth brush should be replaced every 3-4 months and should be the correct size for the adult’s or child’s mouth. (If you have kids, have them choose their own tooth brush. It makes brushing teeth fun!) A big tooth brush can be hard to brush with, and the tooth brusher might not get a thorough clean with it.