Two minutes doesn’t seem like a long time — until you’re brushing your teeth. And then it can seem like forever.
Your Fort Lauderdale dentist would say yes.
Well, it turns out your dentist wasn’t fooling when he or she told you that you that you need to brush for two minutes, twice a day. As Self magazine reports, it isn’t just an arbitrary number.
A 2016 systematic review of 33 articles published in the Journal of Dental Research found that people who brushed their teeth fewer times than twice a day had more tooth decay than those who brushed twice a day or more.
And some of the research proved that brushing your teeth for two minutes leads to a greater reduction in plaque than brushing for one minute does. A 2012 study found that people who brushed for one minute removed about 27 percent of plaque, while people who brushed for two minutes removed nearly twice as much.
Experts said if you’re spending less than two minutes brushing your teeth, you’re likely missing some surfaces, like the backs of your teeth and surfaces closest to your tongue, as well as the chewing surfaces and spots where your teeth meet your gums.
Any plaque remaining on your teeth can harden into tartar, which toothbrushing can’t remove.
The studies showed that a total of four minutes a day spent brushing is optimatl, and that more is not necessary unless you eat sugary snacks, have a history of gum disease, or are undergoing orthodontic treatment.
The studies also showed that over-brushing by pushing too hard can be harmful to your teeth, so apply only gentle pressure with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and swap out that toothbrush for a new one every three months.