What Time Should I Brush My Teeth?

Brush your teeth twice a day. That’s an age-old rule that most of us have ingrained in our minds. What that rule doesn’t tell you is when you should brush your teeth. What is the best time to get the best results? Is there a right and wrong time to brush your teeth? Check out this teeth-brushing guide from Clinton Dental Center to find out.

Wait 30 Minutes after Eating before Brushing Your Teeth

You just finished a delicious meal, and now you’re ready to clean your teeth. If you do this too early, you could damage your enamel. Acidic foods and sugary soft drinks can temporarily weaken your enamel. Brushing your teeth during that time could lead to enamel erosion. A small study found that brushing teeth within 30 minutes of drinking a soda caused dentin loss. Dentin is the layer underneath your enamel.

If you do not drink soda or eat acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, this may be a non-issue. As a precaution though, consider waiting 30 minutes after a meal before brushing. Drink a glass of water to rinse your mouth out, and then brush a little later.

Once in the Morning, Once at Night

Ideally, you should spread your two oral hygiene sessions as far apart as possible. Most people fund a balance by brushing right before bed and after breakfast in the morning. This will leave your teeth feeling fresh when you go to sleep and when you head out for work/school.

You may be a person who wants to brush their teeth right when they wake up, not after breakfast. This is fine, but you may want to do an oral rinse or a third brushing session in the middle of the day. Otherwise, you will go through all three meals without brushing your teeth. Another option would be to brush when you wake up and when you get home in the evening (before dinner). Find a schedule that works well for you.

Brushing Your Teeth before You Eat

Fluoride and enamel-building toothpastes are designed to clean and fortify the surface of your teeth. If you experience sensitivity when eating, you could actually brush your teeth before you eat, instead of after. This is particularly true if you plan to eat acidic foods. Brush your teeth about 20-30 minutes before your meal, giving the toothpaste taste time to wear off. After you are done eating, drink at least one glass of water to wash out the acid in your mouth.

Do Not Overbrush Your Teeth

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, but you can do more than that. However, it’s important to avoid overbrushing your teeth. Brushing too much can weaken your enamel and damage your gums. Each cleaning session should last approximately 2 minutes. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and gently move in circular motions throughout your smile. If you notice any sensitivity developing, talk to your dentist. He or she can recommend the best oral care routine for your circumstances.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sadikoff at Clinton Dental Center, call (586) 949-5363.