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  • Dr. Lana DDS

5 Toothbrushing MYTHS + video (Do you really have brush your teeth for 2 minutes?)

Updated: Nov 8, 2021

Everyone knows to brush their teeth 2 times a day, for 2 minutes a day... but do you know HOW you need to brush to do a great job?

Let's dive into some common tooth brushing myths.

Myth #5- My 5 year old can brush their teeth on their own

Truth #5- You may need to brush your child's teeth until they are around 7-8 yrs old. It's fine to let your child start brushing on their own early on, but they usually don't have the hand skills needed to get to the hard to reach areas in the back and the sides. The rule of thumb is when the child can tie their shoelaces on their own, they are ready to brush on their own.

Myth #4 - Medium or hard toothbrushes will do a better job brushing than soft toothbrushes.

Truth #4- Contrary to popular belief brushing harder (with medium /hard toothbrush) can actually damage the gums and cause gum recession. Get a super soft or soft toothbrush!

Myth #3- When brushing, go back and forth in a sweeping motion.

Truth # 3- Align the brush 45 degrees towards the gumline (see video below) and go in a circular motion. This is the best way to get all the plaque and food off without damaging the gums.

Myth # 2- I need a full strip of toothpaste to cover the entire toothbrush

Truth #2 - For children under 3 years old, a smear/rice size is enough, and for children over 3 years old, a pea size is perfect. Especially with fluoridated toothpaste, we do not want children to swallow more fluoride than is necessary. Too much fluoride, if ingested, however, can cause mild fluorosis (discoloration) on the teeth later on.

Myth #1 - I need to brush my teeth for 2 minutes.

Truth #1- Although 2 minutes is the recommended amount of time for children and adults to brush their teeth, the most important thing is to brush EVERY SURFACE of EVERY TOOTH to make sure all plaque and food particles come off.

For some children, like if you have braces for example, this may require even longer than 2 minutes as it is important to get around all the brackets and wires and all the hard to reach areas.

And of course, flossing is also important to clean between all those hard to reach areas that a toothbrush can't reach!

Below is a Video demonstration of proper brushing technique. Stay tuned for flossing video (coming next week)!


Please comment below with any questions or comments! We love to hear from you!

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Sep 26, 2023

I really enjoyed your video, could I borrow it for my personal use at university? I would like to attach it to my report on dental care, since I am studying at a medical college. If you don't mind, I'll change the resolution. This article will help me with this. If you give your permission, I will be grateful!

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