When is the Best Time to Brush Your Teeth?
We all understand the importance of brushing our teeth least twice a day, but when is the best time to brush your teeth? At Prescott Dentistry, we encourage our patients to brush before breakfast and right before bedtime for two minutes each time. Here are some of the reasons why brushing at these times of day are most beneficial:
Brushing in the Morning
The best time to brush your teeth in the morning is when you first wake up. This is because bacteria can build up overnight, creating bad breath and a layer of film on your teeth. Brushing first thing in the morning, before breakfast, will get rid of bacteria and get your saliva production started for the day. Saliva is important for oral health because it kills bacteria and washes away food debris that collects throughout the day.
Brushing your teeth after an acidic breakfast may do more harm than good. Acids weaken tooth enamel, which can lead to tooth decay. Many common breakfast foods and beverages, like coffee, juice, citrus, and toast are extremely acidic. Brushing right after consuming acidic foods and drinks can actually spread the acid over your teeth, causing more harm than good. If you do brush after breakfast, be sure to wait at least 30 minutes. Most of us don’t have that much time in our morning routines, so simply brushing before breakfast is more convenient!
Brushing During the Day
While brushing twice a day is the bare minimum you should be doing, brushing during the day—in addition to brushing before breakfast and before bedtime—can go even further in preventing tooth decay and gum disease because plaque-forming bacteria feed on sugar. The best time to brush your teeth during the day is after a sugary or starchy snack. Be sure to rinse your mouth out with water immediately after the snack and then wait 30 minutes before brushing.
Brushing at Night
The best time for brushing your teeth at night is right before bed. Your mouth produces less saliva at night, so brushing before bed will help remove the cavity-causing bacteria that saliva washes away during the day. After you brush your teeth at night, don’t eat or drink anything except water until after you brush your teeth in the morning. Flossing before bed will remove food particles that will feed bacteria while you sleep.
Is it possible to brush too much?
While you can’t brush too much, you can over brush, by brushing your teeth too vigorously or using a toothbrush with medium or hard bristles. Over-brushing can cause the gums to recede and the tooth enamel to weaken, eventually leading to tooth decay. The good news is that plaque is fairly easy to clean off the teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Getting into all the nooks and crannies is much more important than the force applied while brushing.
Give Us a Call
The most important thing is that you remember to brush at least twice a day. Doing it at the same time each day can make it easier to remember. In addition to brushing (and flossing!), it is important to keep up with your twice-yearly cleanings and exams. This will go a long way in helping your teeth and gums stay healthy, strong, and beautiful throughout your life. At Prescott Dentistry, we are committed to working with you and your family to help you achieve optimal oral health. Contact us today to set up an appointment with our compassionate, dedicated team.