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Posts for tag: two minutes

In today’s world, we can often get overwhelmed by choices. Even when we have the best of intentions and try to research the best products, it often feels like there are just too many to choose from. Not surprisingly, the abundance of choices can even impact our toothbrush choice! It’s no longer just choosing whether you want a red one or a blue one, soft bristles or medium bristles. No, these days, you get to pick the size, the shape of the toothbrush, the amount of padding on the handle, the curvature of the bristles… the choices are endless. And that’s just for the manual toothbrushes. Move down the aisle and you can choose from battery-operated to self-charging, spin brushes, those with timers and even some that have real-time feedback! It’s kind of insane just how many types of toothbrushes there are.

Given the plethora of choices, is there really a “best toothbrush” out there?

In general, the best toothbrush is going to be the one that you are going to use! It’s no good having the latest app-syncing, data giving, self-brushing gadget, if it’s never going to leave your bathroom drawer. A regular, free toothbrush that you got from your last dental cleaning will be more useful if it’s the one you are more likely to actually use each day- twice a day.

So, while you may not need the latest, most advanced toothbrush, there are a few recommendations that Anderson Pediatric Dentistry recommends when choosing your next toothbrush.

1)     Stick to soft bristles. Soft bristled toothbrushes are the best for removing plaque and debris from both your teeth and the gumlines. They are also less damaging to your gums.


2)     Pick the best fit. Whether you like a square brush or triangle-shape, a padded handle or a plastic stick, the choice is yours. The main concern is to pick a size that allows you to reach all the areas of each tooth in your mouth. Smaller is often better, as it will allow you to get in tighter spaces. This is especially true for children, who require a smaller toothbrush head to be able to reach all the teeth in their mouth effectively.


3)     Seek Approval. Look for toothbrushes that have earned the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval to ensure its one that has undergone rigorous quality control tests for effectiveness and safety.


4)     It’s Your Choice. When it comes to manual or electric, it’s kind of like driving a car. Some prefer a stick shift and some can only drive an automatic. In the end, both cars can get you to your destination. And both types of toothbrushes can do a great job.


For some, an electronic toothbrush may be more effective and actually clean teeth better, particularly for those with limited manual dexterity or people that tend to brush too aggressively and damage their gums. Sometimes, the electronic toothbrushes can add a bit of excitement for children, encouraging them to brush more frequently and for longer.  But, if you like your manual toothbrush, as long as you brush well twice a day, for two minutes, reaching every surface of each tooth, you can get your teeth just as clean as the electronic brushes.


5)     Keep it fresh. Regardless of the type, you need a fresh toothbrush about every three months, or before if your toothbrush is frayed or showing signs of wear.


When it comes down to the choosing which toothbrush is right for you, there really isn’t a right or wrong. Choose the sparkly purple one with the triangle head or get the white and blue one with a square head. Or go all out and get the latest, techiest toothbrush out there. Just make sure that you use it to brush those teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time, and you will have Something to Smile About!


We’ve heard it for years. Brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes. Most of us can get behind the whole “twice a day” because it makes sense. Brush your teeth in the morning to start your day and at night to wash everything away. But what about the “two minutes” part. It sounds easy enough, but have you ever actually brushed your teeth for two minutes? It can feel like eternity. Especially on those mornings when you are running late, the kids need breakfast, you can’t find matching shoes and someone spilt their cereal on the floor.


Admit it. We have all done it. We stick our toothbrush in our mouth, swipe a few times, rinse and call it done. And we won’t even talk about how quickly we brush our children’s teeth on those mornings. Besides, two minutes is just an arbitrary, made up amount of time, right? Does your dentist just say two minutes because it sounds good with twice a day? It turns out that there is actual evidence behind the recommendation. As you would guess, the longer you brush, the more effective you will be at cleaning the bacteria and plaque off your teeth.  

In one study from The Journal of Dental Hygiene, it was reported that the average person brushes their teeth for about 45 seconds, less than half of the recommended amount of time. Does it make a difference? The answer is YES. The same study found that brushing for two minutes removed 26% more plaque than brushing for 45 seconds. That’s a lot of plaque, that if left on your teeth regularly, will eventually cause dental caries.  

In 2012, the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, through a systematic review of 59 papers, found that people brushing for one minute removed, on average, 27% of plaque from their teeth. Those that brushed for two minutes, removed, on average, 41% of plaque from their teeth. Which sounds better to you? 

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that bacteria don’t just live on your teeth. They also coat your entire mouth’s interior, including your tongue, cheeks and gums. By brushing longer, you have increased time to brush these areas of your mouth, as well. 

How can you make it to the two-minute mark? Think of your mouth in terms of quadrants. Spend 30 seconds on each one: top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right. If you really try to brush each tooth and gum area on both the outside and inside of the teeth, two minutes will fly by.  

For children, use two-minute times, find a fun song to brush along with or even get a great brushing app on your phone. Most of all, model good brushing for them. If you child sees you taking great care of your teeth, it will be easier for him or her to want to do the same. 

In addition to the length of time you spend brushing, how you brush also matters. Talk to your pediatric dentist to make sure that you and your child are using proper brushing techniques so that you can get the most out of those two minutes! If you are looking for a dental home for your child in the Upstate, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry would love to give you and your child Something to Smile About! Call our office today at 864-760-1440.