Did you know that people on average only brush for 45 seconds? This is less than
half the daily recommended time of 2 minutes. So really is it important to brush for 2
minutes? Does fluoride actually work? Are mouthwashes helpful? What about
flossing? We will help answer these questions so that you can get the most out of
your daily oral hygiene routine.

Brushing for 2 minutes twice a day is important to help remove all the plaque that
builds up on your teeth during the day. Brushing for 45 seconds will remove less
than half of this plaque which contributes to poor gum health, cavities and bad
breath. 4 minutes per day is small price to pay for what can save your teeth in the
long run.

Flossing once per day will help clean the surfaces where your toothbrush cannot
reach, between your teeth. If you don’t floss, or use some sort of interdental aid such
as a Pikster, TePe, Flossette or Waterflosser, you are missing 40% of your tooth
surfaces. Long term plaque accumulation between the teeth can easily lead to
cavities and this is a common place where cavities develop. Flossing once per day
disturbs this plaque, cleans the surfaces and reduces your risk of interproximal

Is fluoride a myth? Is it safe?
Almost any chemical that is ingested in a high amount can be harmful. This is why
fluoride is added to our water supply and toothpaste in a low amount that promotes
dental health and reduces the potential for side effects. Fluoride gets absorbed into
the enamel, helping to re-mineralise the tooth surface which can then make the tooth
even stronger than it was before. It is important that you never swallow your
toothpaste and you always use the correct fluoridated toothpaste for your age and
drink tap water.

Did you know that fluoride occurs naturally in water, in varying concentrations? We
originally identified its benefits in strengthening teeth by studying the effect of
naturally occurring fluoride in water. Since the addition of a small amount of fluoride
into our water supply, the amount of dental decay in our national population has
reduced by 30%!

Mouthwashes that contain fluoride can have a positive effect on your dental health,
however is it necessary and when should I use it? Mouthwashes can reduce bad
breath odours and also provide added resistance to cavities and gum disease.

However, mouthwash cannot remove plaque from the teeth and gums, so it shouldn’t
replace regular brushing and flossing. Mouthwashes containing alcohol should
always be avoided altogether and to maximise the effect of your mouthwash, use it
at a time of day that you wouldn’t usually brush your teeth, such as lunchtime.

If you have any further questions, contact us at Collaroy Dental and we will gladly
help you!

Find available appointments

Back to Blog