Now a dental lecturer says teeth cleaning should take four minutes. So who’s right?
Since the 1970’s we have been told by the NHS that our teeth cleaning should take two minutes (that’s thirty seconds for each quarter of the mouth) and that we should do this twice a day. As soon as we get up in the morning and again the last thing before going to bed at night. It’s a discipline that we at Carisbrook Dental have always totally agreed with, but now, according to a dental lecturer at Birmingham University, two minutes of cleaning is not enough and we should increase it to four minutes in order to get rid of teeth and gum harming plaque.
So what is our reaction to this announcement? Well, in a nutshell, we still believe that if you employ sound and reliable teeth cleaning methods then two minutes, twice a day, is fine. In fact, we’re not at all certain that brushing for four minutes each time is realistic.
The new recommendations by the university lecturer say that spending more time on our teeth cleaning leads to cleaner teeth and more effectively removes damaging plaque.
Two points we do agree with, however, is that you shouldn’t brush more often than twice a day as this can cause damage to your teeth and gums, and you should certainly not brush directly after a meal, because eating softens the tooth’s enamel leaving them more vulnerable to damage.
We also fully agree that you must avoid using a toothbrush that is too hard or use abrasive toothpaste.
At Carisbrook, we believe that efficient teeth cleaning for two minutes, twice a day, is sufficient to clean your teeth effectively and will remove potentially damaging plaque.
Plaque by the way is a sticky, colourless or pale yellow film that forms on teeth and compromises bacteria that live in your mouth. Poor teeth cleaning will not remove plaque effectively and this can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Why not try Plaque Disclosing Tablets?
At Carisbrook, we recommend these tablets if we think our patients could brush their teeth better. The tablets reveal any remaining plaque and so highlight where you may be missing areas when you brush your teeth. Plaque Disclosing Tablets act as a kind of ‘training aid’ and they help to guide you for more effective teeth cleaning.
Plaque Disclosing Tablets can safely be used by both children and adults and they are widely available at most chemists.
If you do have any difficulty obtaining these tablets then please do give us a call.
At Carisbrook, we have always insisted that good dental hygiene cannot be overstated. Not only by having a regular and efficient tooth cleaning routine at home, but also by visiting one of our hygiene team at least twice a year. They will inspect your teeth and gums, scale and polish them if necessary, and they will pass on professional advice on how to maintain a good level of oral health.
If you would like to make an appointment with our dental hygiene team then please contact us. You can call us on