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Do I Really Need to Brush Twice Per Day?
Illustration by Alex Citrin

Do I Really Need to Brush Twice Per Day?

You’ve probably been hearing all your life that you need to brush twice per day. But—prepare to have your mind blown—you don’t necessarily have to.

By Tend

“If you do it right,” says Dr. Marc Schlenoff, Tend’s Head of Clinical Development, “there’s no reason to brush more than once per day.”

“Doing it right” means brushing so thoroughly that if you were to use a disclosing tablet that reveals plaque on your teeth, you wouldn’t find any. Plaque builds up every 24 hours, so in theory one perfect brush per day should do it. (If plaque is left unbrushed for more than 24 hours, it will layer, harden, and damage your enamel.)

But here’s the catch: “doing it right” is really, really hard (even for a dentist). It requires a level of thoroughness most of us aren't used to.

That’s why—even though you could brush once per day—“you shouldn’t,” according to Dr. Schlenoff. Brushing a second time helps remove “any plaque you missed” during round one. And unless you’re a superhuman brusher, you need that.

So stick with it!

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