When it comes to brushing your teeth, we all know that we should do so at least twice a day. But when exactly are the best times to brush your teeth? Right when you wake up? After breakfast? Right before bed?
A lot of this depends on what you eat, so we’ll go over when you should brush your teeth below.
Brushing After Breakfast?
Naturally, many people think that it’s a good idea to brush your teeth after breakfast, and it is, for the most part. Cleaning your teeth after a meal means that you clean off all the food particles and bacteria from your teeth. So what can go wrong? Well, that all depends on what you had for breakfast.
Are you partial to a bit of orange juice in the morning? Maybe half a grapefruit with a bit of sugar on top? Do you enjoy sugary breakfast cereals? These high acidic and sugar foods and drinks cause tooth enamel to weaken, so if you brush too soon after eating, you can cause some real damage to tooth enamel. This is because the bacterial acids in your mouth, fed on sugars, can cause the overall pH levels in your mouth to drop below normal, making your tooth enamel “softer” and more vulnerable to abrasion, even from your soft-bristled toothbrush. If you are aware of your desire for something acidic or sugary in the morning, the best thing to do would be to brush before you eat breakfast, or wait at least 30 minutes after your meal to brush.
Brush Before Breakfast
You might actually be better at preventing cavities if you brush before you have breakfast because then you’ll be removing as much bacteria as possible instead of “feeding” them. If you reduce the total number of bacteria in your mouth that can produce acid before you break your nightly fast, then you’ll limit how acidic your oral pH becomes. You’ll be introducing fluoride into the dental plaque fluid to reduce the damage bacteria can do to your teeth.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t clean your mouth after breakfast if you’ve brushed your teeth before. Simply use an alkaline rinse after breakfast or chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.
Brushing Before Bed
Sure, you can brush your teeth before dinner if you really want. But we do not advise going to bed without having brushed your teeth. Before bed is when you should floss, as well. Think of it as a way to really cleanse your teeth and gums of all the bad bacteria that has been accumulated throughout the day. More bacteria and plaque accumulates as you sleep, especially if you’re the type to sleep with your mouth open. This makes your mouth dry, which means that there is less saliva to wash the bacteria from your teeth.