The ADA says twice a day. That is referring to the American Dental Association. This recommendation should be taken as a basic guideline as a minimum brushing schedule. More frequent brushing and cleaning of the teeth can also be a good idea if you have dental problems you are trying to solve, other health issues, or want to maximize your chance of not having dental problems in the future.
Plaque and Tartar
Brushing removes the layer of material that adheres to the teeth when you eat. In its beginning stages, this material is called plaque. As it hardens, and becomes more difficult to remove, it is called tartar. Plaque and tartar harbor bacteria that eat their way into the tooth enamel, causing rot below the gum line and gum disease.
Gum and tooth decay are not the only problems for your mouth and breath. Microscopic organisms can enter the body through these infected sites and cause problems in other parts of the body, including the heart. These kinds of problems can take a long time to develop and may not be obvious in their early stages. The best way to prevent this is by good oral hygiene, including brushing at least two times a day.
Flossing at least once a day is another ADA recommendation. Flossing removes debris that is between the teeth and unaffected by brushing. It really is important to both brush and floss daily for good oral health.
Brushing your teeth, or at least thoroughly rinsing out your mouth, after every meal or beverage may sound like a lot, but it is the best way of keeping bacteria from taking hold in your mouth. A small oral hygiene kit with a brush, small tube of toothpaste and some floss is easy to carry in a purse or a daypack. When you eat high acid foods or beverages, wait 30 minutes before you brush, because the acid can cause the brushing to be more damaging to your tooth enamel.
Regularly brushing your teeth is a habit that you can develop, if it is not one you already have. Make sure to have a clean toothbrush that is no older than four months. Buying a multi-pack of toothbrushes makes it easy to change your toothbrush regularly. Find toothpaste that you like, and stock up on floss. Keep up your new habit for a week or two, and it will become a routine that you are happy to keep.