How Long Should You Brush Your Teeth?

Man smiling and brushing his teeth in the mirror

Chances are if you are concerned about oral hygiene and putting your best smile forward, you already know the basics of brushing. We all have our own morning and evening wellness routines which should include brushing our teeth.

In our busy lives, every second counts, and the amount of time we spend dedicated to oral hygiene is no exception. So how long should you brush your teeth? The quick answer: two minutes. However, not every two minutes of brushing is alike! It’s important to make sure that you’re brushing your teeth the correct way as well as for the correct amount of time to maintain optimal oral hygiene. Keep reading to learn more about teeth brushing and how to use those two minutes wisely.

Teeth Brushing Basics

Brushing your teeth the correct way and for the correct amount of time can be hard to get wrong. First off, experts agree that you should be brushing your teeth twice per day for two full minutes every time to maintain healthy teeth and to help stay cavity-free.1 When brushing your teeth, you should be using a soft-bristled toothbrush like Sensodyne Sensitive Care that you replace every three to four months.1 Using an old, worn-out toothbrush may thwart your dental-hygiene efforts—using a worn-out brush will not clean your teeth as well as a newer toothbrush in better condition.1

After you’ve equipped yourself with a high-quality toothbrush, place your toothbrush head at a 45-degree angle against the outer surface of your teeth and use small circular motions to gently brush. Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of your teeth in short, gentle strokes. Gently brush the flat biting and chewing surfaces of the teeth. Finish up your two minutes by gently brushing your tongue. Finally, spit and rinse your mouth.2

Make the Most of Your Two-Minutes

Now that you know how long you should be brushing your teeth for, you might be wondering how to make sure you’re brushing for a full two minutes every time. Two minutes might seem like a long time, but if you’re focused on thoroughly brushing your teeth, these 120 seconds will fly by. 3

Beyond the Bathroom

Brushing your teeth properly for two minutes twice a day and cleaning between your teeth with an interdental cleaner like floss? Check. However, there are a few things you can do outside of the bathroom to help maintain healthy teeth and gums as well. Follow a healthy diet to help protect your body against gum disease and avoid eating sweets and drinking sweetened drinks to decrease your chance of getting cavities.1  Make sure to keep retainers, dentures, and other dental appliances clean (dentures need to be cleaned, too!).1 If you have dentures, be sure to use Polident regularly to kill 99.99% of odor causing bacteria so you can keep your smile fresh. Additionally, be sure to visit your dentist regularly and have your teeth cleaned professionally every six months or as recommended by your dentist.1

We hope this article has helped you understand how long you should brush your teeth. Explore more oral health tips from Sensodyne for resources on recognizing sensitive teeth, whitening sensitive teeth, and more.



By clicking any of the links below you will be taken to an external website that is independently operated and not managed by GSK. GSK assumes no responsibility for the content on the website. If you do not wish to leave this website, do not click on the links below.

1. Dental care – adult. MedlinePlus. Accessed 5/5/21.

2. Brushing Your Teeth. Mouth Healthy. Accessed 9/7/21.

3. Quick Facts: Toothbrushing. Mouth Healthy. Accessed 9.7.21.