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Brushing your teeth correctly | NewSmile® Canada

Are You Brushing Your Teeth Correctly?

December 13, 2022

Oral health is an essential part of your overall wellbeing. Your teeth are not just an important part of a nice smile, they provide a way for you to eat, and healthy teeth can indicate a healthy body. Taking care of your mouth is simple, but vital. If you do not take care of your mouth, there can be serious consequences.

Are you brushing your teeth the right way? Have you ever wondered how long you should brush your teeth? Here are the facts:


So What if You Skip Brushing Your Teeth?

When you skip brushing your teeth, your mouth fills with bacteria and germs which can be harmful in several ways. Most notably, bacteria and germ buildup in your mouth can lead to a buildup of plaque, gum disease, and gingivitis. These three things alone can lead to a whole host of other health-related issues. The following are just a few of the many issues that can occur when you forget to brush and floss.

Heart Problems

Studies have indicated that a buildup of plaque in the mouth can lead to a buildup of plaque in the heart. Plaque in your heart can result in deadly consequences. There’s a strong correlation between poor oral hygiene and heart disease, which is a pretty good reason to brush twice a day.

Bad Breath

Though it should go without saying, when you skip brushing your teeth, or you don’t know how long you should brush your teeth and you fall short, you can develop bad breath. Bad breath can range from mild to extreme, and it’s worth it to brush regularly so you can avoid these awkward moments. If you are particularly prone to bad breath, you may need to also use mouthwash and a tongue scraper regularly as well.

Gum Disease and Gingivitis

Gum disease and gingivitis can wreak havoc on your mouth and do irreparable damage. Learning how long you should brush your teeth and practicing good oral hygiene can help you avoid these diseases. If you neglect your oral health and end up with gum disease or gingivitis, resulting in bad breath, tender gums, plaque buildup, tooth decay, enamel damage, and even tooth loss.


The plaque that builds up in your mouth when you don’t regularly brush is swallowed and enters the rest of your body. This dangerous plaque not only has the potential to cause heart problems, but strokes as well. Strokes can be deadly or debilitating, and if you want to better your chances of avoiding one, you can brush regularly.

How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth For?

An easy way to remember how long you should brush your teeth and how often you should brush is the 2x2 rule. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the average person only brushes their teeth for 45-75 seconds — which is certainly not long enough.

You should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. A quick 30 second brush won’t cut it, even if you are using an expensive electric toothbrush. You need at least two minutes of active brushing twice a day to keep your mouth healthy and clean.

Generally, dentists recommend that you brush your teeth in the morning and before you go to bed. If you find that you need an extra brushing during the day, do not hesitate. The cleaner you keep your mouth, the better off you are.

Timed Teeth Brushing Hacks

Once you know how long you should brush your teeth for, it is important to find a way to track that time and hold yourself accountable. Little kids often have toothbrushes that play music for the two minute duration to keep them bruising, but as an adult, it is just as important that you make sure you are brushing for at least two minutes. Set a timer on your phone or play a song that you enjoy for at least two minutes to keep you brushing. If you are having a hard time remembering the 2x2 rule, consider putting a reminder on your bathroom mirror.

Other Ways To Keep Your Mouth Healthy

Brushing your teeth for the appropriate amount of time is just the beginning. You also need to floss daily, visit your dentist regularly, and use a fluoride mouthwash. Flossing is vital because a toothbrush cannot reach every surface of your teeth. Also, flossing isn’t just for popcorn kernels, it’s for plaque and buildup that you can’t get with a toothbrush. If you have a permanent retainer or braces that make it difficult to floss around, use a water flosser.  

A fluoride mouthwash will help with bad breath and will also prevent cavities. If you live in an area that does not have fluoride in the water, it is important that you swish with a fluoride mouthwash regularly. Some people have weaker enamel on their teeth and no matter if they learn how long you should brush your teeth for and do it, they are still susceptible to cavities. Fluoride builds up and protects your teeth from cavities. Not all mouthwash has fluoride in it, so make sure to check the label at the store.

Lastly, regular dentist visits are a must. A dentist has tools that you don’t have in your bathroom, and a bi-yearly visit keeps your teeth clean and your mouth healthy. When visiting a dentist, ask any oral health questions that you may have and see if he or she has any suggestions. Dentists are teeth professionals, so they are in the best position to help you create an oral care regimen that perfectly fits you needs.

Now that you know how long you should brush your teeth for, there are no excuses  — get brushing. High-quality smile correction and cosmetic dentistry mean nothing if you don’t follow the 2x2 rule and follow good hygiene practices. Protect your smile with a toothbrush and some floss — it’s just that easy.

Oral care ranges from innovative smile correcting programs to simple tasks like flossing and brushing.  Whether you are trying to learn how long to brush your teeth, or other oral hygiene hacks, we have the answers you need.