Brush Your Teeth Long Enough — Follow These 3 Tips

Brushing teeth is not exactly an exciting activity, but this is not an excuse to fail to hit the recommended two-minute mark.

Studies suggest that most of us fall short as 45 seconds is the average time people spend brushing. This, however, is not sufficient to remove plaque, as you need at least two minutes for thorough cleaning.

Dentists in Northbrook, IL, share a few ways to make sure you’re cleaning your teeth long enough:

1. Hum a tune

By humming your favorite tune, you can distract yourself and hit your two-minute goal. You can hum the song “Happy Birthday” twice, as it is only a minute-long.

By doing so, two minutes, especially for kids, won’t seem like an eternity. The American Dental Association (ADA) shares a list of tooth brushing tunes for kids.

2. Use a timer

One foolproof way to make sure that you are brushing for two minutes is to use a kitchen timer or a stopwatch. You could also use the timer app on your phone and bring it every time you brush.

Be sure to hit all the surfaces of your teeth and continue cleaning until the timer goes off. You might also want to consider buying an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer.

3. Download an app

Toothbrush timer apps can be especially beneficial for kids as they can make brushing fun and exciting. They can also encourage good habits and get children excited about dental hygiene.

These tips can help you or your kids hit the two-minute mark, but note that is also important to brush your teeth the right way. Avoid brushing too hard or too often as is can wear away the enamel and make your teeth sensitive and susceptible to staining.

You should also replace the toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed.