Though it is important to pay attention to how long you’re brushing, it’s even more important to make sure all surfaces are clean. Remember to brush using short strokes, moving back and forth against the teeth and gums, around the surface of every tooth. Use the tip of the brush to reach behind each front tooth on the top and bottom. In addition, don’t forget flossing – it’s just as important as brushing.

If you don’t brush your teeth long enough, you may not be getting your teeth clean enough. If you leave behind bacteria on the teeth after brushing, it can lead to serious problems such as gingivitis or periodontitis.  Heavy plaque in the mouth can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, which can lead to heart disease and a variety of other serious health conditions. 

Can too much brushing be detrimental? It’s not an issue of brushing for too long, it’s an issue of applying too much pressure when brushing. Using too much pressure can cause abrasion of the enamel and of the gum tissue, which can lead to tooth sensitivity. Dr. Swain recommends using a soft toothbrush and trying to use your non-dominant hand to brush – you may be amazed to realize just how much pressure you are applying.