Lifetime Of Brushing Infographic Jefferson Dental Clinics

How long does the average person brush? Check out this infographic

Sept. 30, 2014
The average person doesn't come very close to the recommended daily brushing time.
Meg Kaiser, Associate Editor

Have you ever stopped to add up how many hours in a lifetime dental professionals recommend that their patients brush? I'm guessing not. Well, Jefferson Dental Clinics took the time to do a little math, and the results may surprise you – or not.

With a 79-year average life span brushing at four minutes per day, that comes to 1,440 minutes per year, or one day per year of brushing, which is 79 days throughout a person's lifetime. Sounds pretty reasonable.

Now check out how long the average person really brushes, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. It comes in at less than half the recommended time, with a dismal 45 to 70 seconds per day, which is only 355 to 553 hours in a lifetime, or a very unacceptable 15 to 23 days.

We all know that dental professionals do everything but visit patients every morning and evening in order to supervise their brushing and flossing habits. (Wait. What flossing? We might as well be realistic here.) There's no better feeling than seeing noticable improvements in patients' oral and overall health because they followed your recommendations, so keep up the good work!

In this chart alone, the hope of "Shortening the time you spend at the dentist (and making the experience more pleasant)" may encourage some people to spend more time on their dental health now, not to mention "saving money" and "preventing bad breath." You have to reach people where they are.

Hopefully the numbers in the second part of this chart will increase with each year's new report. After all, reports indicate that people are actually starting to pay more attention to the oral-systemic link, so there is hope!