How often should you brush your teeth?

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Research shows that millions of Britons rid their teeth of plaque and freshen their breath just once a day. We asked the public about their dental routines

A woman brushing her teeth

According to a YouGov survey, men are more likely (33%) than women (26%) to cancel the second round of brushing. While 8% percent of people brush their teeth three or more times every day, 2% skip tooth brushing altogether.

Despite NHS guidelines advising us to brush before bed, Brits are more likely to brush in the morning (87%) than in the evening (72%), providing bacteria with an all-night feast of leftover food and mouth acid.

Although the jury is out on the benefits of flossing, just 31% of people say they clean between their teeth on a typical day, with men less likely to floss than women. We asked the public how they take care of their pearly whites.

Shreepal Gosrani, 39, trader, London

Shrieval Gosrani.

I brush twice a day unless I get drunk, or I’m on a plane. I think people are lazy, and brushing your teeth is a chore. It’s boring, it’s two minutes. I floss once a day because the hygienist told me to.

Donna Quinnell, 31, teacher, London

Donna Quinnell (Photography by Graeme Robertson)

People should be ashamed of themselves for only brushing once a day. I brush twice a day without fail. It was one of my new year’s resolutions to floss every day, but that’s fallen flat on its face. Realistically, it’s twice a week.

Faith-Marie White

Faith-Marie White.

I brush my teeth after every meal – but that’s also because I’m trying to give up smoking. People brush more to make their breath smell right. I think that’s why fewer people brush at night; you come in, fall asleep. I do that.

Alan Lewis, 71, retired lawyer, Essex

Alan Lewis (Photography by Graeme Robertson)

I brush twice a day. I think it’s bad to brush once a day. I occasionally floss, but I don’t use mouthwash. I think people probably brush more these days because of health awareness, but I guess people are also quite lazy.

Gino Musungay, 35, data analyst, London

Gino Musungay.

It’s a bit worrying. I think you should brush after each meal. Sometimes things get stuck in your teeth. I use mouthwash twice a day. I floss every morning. It’s too much admin, I know. I carry a toothbrush with me in my work bag.

Dajeong Kim, 27, barista, South Korea

Dajeong Kim.

In South Korea, we brush at least three times every day – we eat a lot of sweet stuff. I think it’s bad to brush just once. There could be a bad smell – please brush your teeth more, for other people too!

Joshua Arnold, 23, social media editor, Paris

Joshua Arnold.

I brush twice a day without fail and, if I’m going out, three times. I have a very expensive electric toothbrush. I have never flossed and I was glad when I found out we didn’t necessarily need to.

Loretta Williams, 49, IT trainer, London

Loretta Williams.

I have been guilty of brushing once a day, although I try to brush twice. I get in late, I don’t mean to forget. So in the morning I’m very intense: I brush, floss, and use mouthwash.

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