How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth? (+Expert Tips)

How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth? (+Expert Tips)

Do you want to have movie-star quality teeth? Or are you simply looking to improve your brushing habits? 

Well, you’re in luck! This helpful guide has everything you need to know about how long you should brush your teeth to keep those chompers pearly white. Specifically, this guide will cover:

So whether you’re a new parent, someone who has recently started braces, or simply looking to improve your brushing habits: read on!

This helpful article has all the evidence-based information you need to stay health-conscious while maintaining the perfect smile. Let’s jump right in!

The Recommended Brushing Time

The recommended amount of time you should brush your teeth is 2 minutes

Experts from all over the world have recognized that 2 minutes twice per day is the optimal length of time to maximize your oral health. 

This is because it allows the toothpaste ingredients enough time to effectively combat bacteria, strengthen enamel, and prevent cavities.

The American Dental Association (ADA) notes that 2 minutes has been clinically proven to properly achieve plaque removal while boosting fluoride concentration levels in your biofilm fluid and saliva. 

This is extremely important for reducing the risk of caries while remineralizing your precious chompers.

It is also recommended that you leave the toothpaste to sit on the surface of your teeth for at least 20 minutes after you brush. 

By not rinsing your mouth immediately, you allow the ingredients from the toothpaste to properly work its magic.

This has multiple benefits, including:

  • Remineralizing teeth by repairing microscopic enamel damage
  • Giving antibacterial agents more time to fight harmful bacteria
  • Allowing the toothpaste to properly remove and control plaque
  • Reducing continued exposure to acidic food and beverages
  • Helping maintain your oral pH level
  • Sustaining oral freshness.

The National Health Service in the UK even recommends waiting for up to 30 minutes after using a fluoride-based mouthwash before eating or drinking. 

This is because the acidity found in food and beverages could remove fluoride and other ingredients, causing further enamel erosion.

Importance Of Brushing For The Recommended Time And Avoiding Over-Brushing

So, why 2 minutes?

Effective oral hygiene relies on thorough cleaning to cover every surface from your teeth to your gums. However, it is crucial that you don’t overbrush at the same time.

1. Consequences of not brushing for long enough

Neglecting the dentist-approved, recommended brushing time can have serious repercussions. It is important to follow these guidelines; otherwise, you could face some of the consequences listed below.

  • Incomplete Plaque Removal. Failing to brush for 2 minutes will leave unwanted plaque on your teeth. This is bad because the bacteria found in plaque can contribute to tooth decay.

  • Insufficient Fluoride Exposure. Fluoride needs to be brushed into your teeth thoroughly otherwise it won’t have enough time to fortify them with its strengthening properties. This also increases your risk of tooth decay. 

  • Bad Breath. Toothpaste contains multiple odor-reducing properties, helping to prevent chronic bad breath and social stigma.

  • Increased Risk of Gum Disease. Removing plaque on your gums is essential to prevent gingivitis. If the inflammation of your gums is left untreated it could cause more severe dental diseases.
  • Tooth Discoloration. Without proper brushing, the impact of certain food consumption and plaque development will lead to persistent staining of your teeth. To prevent the appearance of your teeth developing a layer of yellow or brown, brush for the entire 2 minutes.

  • Weakened Enamel. Plaque weakens the outer protective layer of your teeth, making them more susceptible to damage and decay. Over time, this could develop into cavities.

  • Calculus or Tartar Development. If left unbrushed, plaque could form into calculus or tartar. This hard, yellowish deposit is extremely difficult to remove, causing both cavities and gum disease.

  • Increased Sensitivity. Love ice cream? Well, if you don’t brush regularly you may never be able to have it again! Failure to maintain your pearly whites could heighten their sensitivity, affecting your ability to consume both hot and cold foods comfortably.

  • Reduced Saliva Production. The increased presence of bacteria from a lack of brushing could irritate the salivary glands and limit the production of saliva. 

This is problematic because the antimicrobial properties of saliva help reduce infections and remineralize teeth.

Some systemic consequences are:

  • Possible risk of dementia. Studies have shown that there is a link between poor oral health and an increased risk of dementia. This is thought to be due to the bacteria that cause gum disease entering the bloodstream and traveling to the brain, potentially causing inflammation and cognitive decline.
  • Increase risk of heart problems. Poor oral health and lack of brushing has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. This is because bacteria causing gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart, leading to inflammation and heart disease. A 2019 cohort study found that brushing teeth at least three times a day can reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation and heart failure.
  • Increase risk of lung infections.  Poor brushing habits can also increase your risk of lung infections such as pneumonia due bacteria that cause gum disease inhaled into the lungs, leading to infections.

2. The risks of brushing for too long

On the flip side, brushing for too long could also have many negative effects. Brushing too hard can be more harmful than beneficial, and the consequences can cause permanent irreversible damage. It is important, therefore, to follow the 2-minute rule to avoid the many consequences listed below:

  • Gum Recession. Excessive pressure from brushing could severely damage gum tissue. When gums recede, the exposure of tooth roots increases their risk of decay and sensitivity.

  • Enamel Erosion. Over-brushing can wear down the protective enamel layer, making them more susceptible to cavities.

  • Tooth Sensitivity. Enamel erosion heightens tooth sensitivity, affecting your ability to consume both hot and cold foods comfortably.

  • Irritated Gums. Prolonged brushing can cause inflammation of the gums. This can contribute to gum disease and bleeding.

  • Damage Dental Work. Brushing too hard could damage dental restorations such as braces, fillings, and crowns. It is important to consider the financial costs of excessive brushing.

  • Damage of Soft Tissue. Aggressive brushing could even damage the delicate soft tissue of the cheeks and tongue. 


To avoid discomfort, pain, and inflammation of these areas, stick to the 2-minute recommended brushing duration.

Tips For Brushing Your Teeth Effectively

Now that you know the benefits of brushing your teeth effectively, let’s help you get the most out of what the dental industry can offer!

Below are some handy tips and tricks for a mindful and comprehensive tooth-brushing experience:

Set a Two-Minute Timer

Use a timer to make sure you brush your teeth for the full two minutes. For manual brushes, use your phone; otherwise, you could even use an electric toothbrush like this one from Boka

This helpful toothbrush has a 2-minute timer (with 30-second alerts) and activated charcoal bristles to make sure you're on top of oral hygiene.

Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

To prevent damaging your enamel and gums, opt for a toothbrush with softer bristles. It is important to clean your teeth without causing any unwanted issues or abrasions.

And guess what? In a study found that the bleeding and plaque indices decreased significantly compared to the baseline with the use of ultra-soft toothbrushes. We have an excellent option for you - Boka’s toothbrush is made with silky-soft, activated charcoal bristles to reduce odor-causing bacteria and deliver a thorough yet gentle clean.

Try a n-Ha Toothpaste

Struggling to figure out what to look for in toothpaste?

First used by NASA astronauts in space, hydroxyapatite or n-Ha has a multitude of benefits that foster oral health.

Hydroxyapatite toothpaste has been known to reduce sensitivity, maintain healthy gums, whiten teeth, remineralize teeth, freshen breath, remove bacteria and plaque, and support your general enamel strength

Interdental Brushes

Specially designed to clean between your teeth, interdental brushes have smaller bristled heads that come in a variety of different widths to suit the specific gap size of your teeth. 

These brushes are extremely good at removing plaque from areas your standard toothbrush might miss.

Dental Floss and Mouthwash

Both dental floss and mouthwash are essential tools for removing plaque and debris from between your teeth. 

Prevent cavities and gum disease by reaching the areas regular brushing can’t reach. 

Drink Plenty of Water

This is not just a great rule of thumb for your overall health; drinking lots of water is also important for your dental hygiene! 

This is because water often contains fluoride, which will complement the effects of your toothpaste nicely.

However, it is important to recognize that excessive exposure to fluoride can also be harmful. That’s why it is important to consider using a healthier, hydroxyapatite toothpaste instead.

Use a Proper Technique

Don’t just go in there and brush willy-nilly! Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and use short, gentle strokes. 

By brushing effectively, you can cover all surfaces of the teeth – leaving no stone unturned or tooth unbrushed.

Replace Your Toothbrush Often

With consistent use, the bristles of your standard toothbrush will degrade and become less effective. That’s why you should aim to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.

Brush Soft Tissues

Don’t forget about your tongue! Bacteria can form and grow on all areas of your mouth, so it’s important to brush your tongue and cheeks too.

See a Dentist Regularly

Monthly cleanings and checkups are the best way to have a proper all-in-one revitalization of your oral health. 

See your dentist often for all sorts of advice and helpful techniques to maintain your pearly whites.

Discover the Magic of Boka Oral Care Products

So, you’ve made the smart decision to start brushing for the full 2 minutes? Nice!

It’s now important to make sure that you’re using the best oral health products on the market.

Take Boka’s n-Ha toothpaste, for example. It has all the amazing benefits of your typical toothpaste, with some added advantages from its non-toxic ingredients to its dentist-approved formula. 

Containing a calcium-phosphorus compound that comprises 97% of your tooth enamel and 70% of your dentin, this toothpaste works its magic by biomimicking your natural tooth composition that’s unique from any other toothpaste on the market.

Boka branded toothpaste also comes in great flavors such as Ela Mint, Coco Ginger, Lemon Lavender, and Orange Cream – much better than those artificial flavors you get from supermarket brands! 

It even does all this while being vegan, sulfate-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and free from artificial flavors.

Boka has a variety of great deals too such as back-to-school and travel pack specials

We even have a range of dental floss, manual toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes, and saliva-activated mouthwash tablets. It’s a one-stop tooth-cleaning shop!

Made with a vegetable wax coating, refreshing mint flavor, and just-right thickness, Boka’s floss is designed to deliver a thorough, satisfying clean. 

Plus, it’s free of BPA, Teflon, parabens, SLS, and PFAS so you can feel good about flossing your little heart out. 

Boka’s electric toothbrush uses advanced sonic technology to deliver 30,000 vibrations per minute for that just-left-the-dentist feel. 

It gently cleans with soft, activated charcoal bristles and has a built-in timer for healthier brushing. 

You’ll love its stainless-steel accents, magnetic charging base, and long-lasting battery. Plus, it comes complete with two brush heads and a travel case so that you can take those good vibes on the road.

Prefer going old-school? No worries! Boka’s Classic Brush is made with silky-soft, activated charcoal bristles to reduce odor-causing bacteria and deliver a thorough, yet gentle clean.

Finally, to complement your floss and brush, get yourself some of Boka’s mouthwash tablets

Activated by your saliva, they pack a powerful punch of probiotics to restore your oral microbiome (that’s science speak for killing the bad bacteria and preserving the good!). 

Plus, they freshen breath, soothe irritated gums, and help to remineralize teeth — all without the burn. Chew on that.

So, what are you waiting for? There are clearly many ways to maintain your pearly whites – so why not start with Boka? 

We’re extremely passionate about oral hygiene and have a variety of proven ingredients and feel-good formulas that beat any found in your typical fluoride-based product. 

You can easily pick up the next step to a healthy smile right HERE.

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