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Brush Teeth Longer and Less Often

A British lecturer in restorative dentistry is encouraging people to brush their teeth longer but less often. Writing for the Daily Mail, Dr. Josephine Hirschfeld, of the University of Birmingham in England, says that brushing twice a day for four minutes at a time is the most effective way to clean the teeth.  

According to Hirschfeld, brushing more often can damage tooth enamel and gums, particularly if the toothbrush has stiff bristles or the toothpaste is abrasive. At the same time, a traditional brushing session isn’t long enough to eliminate harmful plaque.

The Jerusalem Post picked up the story in November, writing, “Hirschfeld said that while studies show that two minutes of brushing leads to a reduction in bacterial plaque, it has been shown that brushing over time removes more. Plaque is a sticky layer, usually colorless, that develops on the teeth as a result of the accumulation of bacteria that live naturally in the mouth. If left untreated, plaque buildup can lead to tooth decay or gum disease.

‘Recent evidence suggests that spending more time brushing every time you brush leads to cleaner teeth,’ she wrote. ‘This longer brushing time means that we can clean our teeth more efficiently and get the toothbrush into places that are difficult to reach.’”

Information sourced by Jonathan Richter, DDS, FAGD, owner of Cariodontal, located at 310 E. Shore Rd., Ste. 101, Great Neck, NY (516-282-0310 /, and Manhattan Oasis Dentistry, 525 West End Ave., Ste. 1G, New York, NY (212-874-2880 /

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