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Is there evidence that suggests that your teeth will be more healthy if you brush them multiple times per day than when you brush them once per day?

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As with just about any instance regarding human physiology/biology: It depends.

Brushing has been shown to remove food particles that will lead to decay. However, brushing can also damage your teeth and gums if you use a brush that has stiff bristles, or brush too vigorously.

The general consensus from dentists seems to indicate that you should gently brush after eating. Although toothpaste is not required for all sessions. And if you have eaten anything acidic, it is best to wait.

According to Peter Heasman, a professor of periodontology at Newcastle University’s School of Dental Sciences, two minutes twice a day brushing with a pressure of 150 grams – equivalent to holding an orange – is correct practice.

In addition, regular dental care (and the associated benefits that are well documented by the entire field of dentistry) can lead to better heart health.

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    Ideally I would want something evidence-based instead of a description of the advice that different authorities give. – Christian Mar 13 '11 at 15:46
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    I would contend that the entire field of dentistry is the evidence. I'm sure you wouldn't need a citation to say that jamming an ice pick through your head hurts or is a bad idea? Dental care has come to that same level of "obviousness". The areas where good advice can be given are the ones cited in the answer (i.e. proper procedure and timing). – Larian LeQuella Mar 13 '11 at 17:41
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    Lecturing directly of the important of evidence-based would mean for me to step a bit out of character. That leaves me with pointing out the conflict of interest: The dentistry industry makes money by selling various products. Few dentists run their business on a model where they would profit if their patients had good teeth. Given that conflict of interest it's important that dentists provide evidence for their claims. – Christian Mar 13 '11 at 20:28
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    The literature is available at any website that shows how food particles allow bacteria to deposit sugars on your teeth and that sugars and bacteria waste are bad for your enamel. Not to mention the enzymes in your saliva that start the digestion process also working away at the food particles on your teeth. While I hate the saying "common sense", this is really a case for that. Give bacteria food and a pleasant environment, they will multiply and leave waste and do their thing. – Larian LeQuella Mar 14 '11 at 1:08
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    @Jim: This answer doesn't refer to any controlled trials. This community has a standard that answers should be backed up by evidence. The burden of showing evidence is with the person who posts an answer. Larian argues that he fulfills his burden by pointing out by making an argument by authority. Controlled trials aren't necessary because it's common sense that brushing your teeth works. – Christian Mar 17 '11 at 14:03

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