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How frequently should I brush my teeth to prevent cavities?

Rita Medwid
Dentist

You should brush your teeth as often as you eat or snack. If not possible, then chew sugar free gum, or slowly dissolve a piece of hard xylitol candy, or floss, or at least rinse out your mouth. Brushing before you go to bed is very important because the salivary flow is decreased when we sleep, and no chewing movement so food can accumulate and bacteria grows under the gums. Remember to brush only the teeth you want to keep for a lifetime.


Brushing your teeth is one of the best ways to prevent cavities from developing. It is important to thoroughly brush your teeth after every meal. If you cannot brush your teeth after eating, rinsing your mouth out is an alternate option. You must brush your teeth at least twice a day to maintain good oral hygiene and lower your risk for cavities.

Diana K. Blythe, MD
Pediatrics
To prevent cavities, the goal would be to brush after every snack or meal. Unfortunately, this is not always easy to accomplish.

At the very least, brush twice daily for two minutes each time with a good fluoride toothpaste. Never eat or drink after your last brushing of the day and be sure to floss.
Brushing your twice twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once daily helps to clear the teeth of sugars and starches. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on these foods, producing acids as a result. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.
Brushing your teeth is one of the best ways to prevent cavities from developing. You should brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day for at least two minutes and floss daily to maintain good oral hygiene and lower your risk for cavities.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.