What Is the Best Technique for Brushing?

There are a number of effective brushing techniques. Patients are advised to check with their dentist or hygienist to determine which technique is best for them, since tooth position and gum condition vary. One effective, easy-to-remember technique involves using a circular or elliptical motion to brush a couple of teeth at a time, gradually covering the entire mouth.

Place the toothbrush beside your teeth at a 45-degree angle and rub back-and-forth gently. Brush outside and behind the teeth, your tongue and especially on chewing surfaces and between teeth. Be sure to brush at least twice a day, especially after meals. You should brush your teeth at least two to three minutes twice a day. Brush your teeth for the length of a song on the radio, the right amount of time to get the best results from brushing. Unfortunately, most Americans only brush for 45 to 70 seconds twice a day.

How Long Should I Brush?

When it comes to brushing your teeth, you may think that is one area where you don't need help. But most people are only brushing one-third of the suggested time.
The average person brushes:

  • Two minutes a day
  • 14 minutes a week
    12.1 hours a year
  • 38.5 days in their lifetime

The average person should brush:

  • Six minutes a day
  • 42 minutes a week
  • 36.4 hours a year
  • 122 days in their lifetime