Ask LH: What Else Can I Do While Brushing My Teeth?

Ask LH: What Else Can I Do While Brushing My Teeth?

Dear Lifehacker, I’m always looking to trim a few more minutes off my morning routine. Is it really necessary for me to brush my teeth for two minutes, and if so, do you have any suggestions to make the time more productive? Thanks, Brush Rush

Tooth brushing picture from Shutterstock

Dear BR,

First question: absolutely, yes. Thoroughly cleaning your teeth is a process that takes time. A superficial swipe won’t cut it. The Australian Dental Association recommends two to three minutes, so don’t skimp.

Oral health is a worthwhile goal on its own, but if you want to get more out of the time, there are options:

  • This set of five exercises you can perform while brushing your teeth will improve your fitness.
  • Change the hand you use while brushing as a means to build your willpower.
  • Alternatively, use the other hand for some bathroom tidying. (I sometimes clean the mirror while brushing my teeth.) You can even extend this to other rooms — you need the sink at the end of the process, but not while you’re actually cleaning.
  • Use that time to brainstorm. Sometimes our best ideas come when we’re involved in other activities.

If readers have other activities that fit well with brushing your teeth, we’d love to hear them in the comments.


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