Better it is. If you have some crooked teeth or gum problems, you will probably have to brush even longer to remove the same amount of plaque. And did you know that you don't even need toothpaste for that?
The advice to brush the teeth for at least two minutes is based on research in which test subjects had to brush their teeth for half a minute to six minutes. When the researchers looked at how much plaque (the main cause of cavities and gum problems) was removed, this yielded interesting insights.
Patience is a virtue
For example, with a normal manual toothbrush you can remove about forty percent of all dental plaque in half a minute. Not a bad result in itself, but if you continue for a minute and a half, you can still remove 25 percent more bad mouth bacteria. This has achieved the greatest effect, hence the advice to brush at least two minutes twice a day.
Electric even better
The difference is more spectacular if you use an electric toothbrush. Half a minute of humming soon results in a slab reduction of fifty percent. But if your teeth are dear to you, you can keep it full, because with two minutes of electric brushing you remove no less than eighty five percent of the plaque. That is ten percent more than what you remove in six minutes with a normal manual toothbrush.
Skewed teeth = longer brushing
"The advice of at least two minutes is an average,". “If you have straight teeth that you can easily reach anywhere, you may need a little less time. But if you have a few crooked teeth or suffer from receding gums, you will have to invest longer for the same result. ”How much longer differs per person and is the best thing to discuss with your dental hygienist, according to the professor. "For some people, the ideal tooth brushing time can be as much as four minutes,".
Toothpaste does not remove plaque
It is striking that with toothpaste you do not remove more plaque than without. Toothpaste does have an important preventive and protective effect, among other things thanks to the fluoride. This is a natural substance that makes the teeth and molars less vulnerable to acid attacks by bacteria. "Everyone should use fluoride toothpaste," we advise. "But for the direct effect it doesn't matter if you brush with or without toothpaste."
Hard or soft?
"A medium toothbrush is the most effective," the dental expert knows. "Only if you regularly damage your gums during brushing, you should use a toothbrush with soft hair." And a hard brush? This is a "risk of gums".
How well do you actually brush?
If you use your toothbrush properly, you can easily remove plaque. A simple and effective method is the so-called Bass method.
- Place the toothbrush at an oblique angle (of 45 degrees) against the gumline. Apply slight pressure. Then make short forward and forward movements. Continue to brush at the same place for a few seconds and then slide the brush a little further.
- Brush systematically and try to follow a fixed order so that no piece of tooth or molar is skipped.
- Don't forget to take the inside of all teeth with you.
- Brush your teeth in the morning after breakfast and in the evening before going to sleep.
Tip: you can better reach your rear teeth by closing your mouth slightly.