Why do we brush our teeth?

Brushing your teeth is one of the most effective ways of removing plaque from the exposed surfaces of your teeth.


What’s the best kind of brush to use?

Contrary to what you might think, a gentle brushing with a soft-bristle toothbrush is just as effective (and less damaging!) than a vigorous scrubbing with a stiff-bristle toothbrush.

Your tooth enamel is relatively thin. Years of aggressive brushing can begin to wear away the enamel and make the teeth sensitive. (Remember, the enamel on your teeth does not contain nerve fibres, but the dentin layer underneath does. See the Healthy Teeth page on Cavities.) Brushing too hard can also damage your gums.

There are different styles of toothbrushing. The important thing to remember is that an effective brushing cleans every exposed tooth surface in a gentle, massaging motion.

How long do you take to brush your teeth?

Most people think they brush for at least a minute or two, but in reality they brush for 30 seconds or less.

Time yourself and see how you do. An effective brushing takes 2 – 3 minutes.