As dentists, we always advise brushing your teeth twice a day, everyday. However, we have found lots of people contacting us about exactly when during the day to brush your teeth.
If you read the NHS guidance, they advise brushing last thing at night, just before bed. But what confuses many people, rather than stating the morning, they suggest brushing at another point during the day.
There is always lots of debate about before or after breakfast, neither is completely wrong or right. However, our preferred choice is before breakfast.
Breakfast is the most important meal in the day, however as a general rule of thumb, do not brush your teeth straight after eating. Although you may not have eaten an unhealthy meal, foods contain sugars and acids, some more than others. It is these sugars and acids which damage your teeth.
You wouldn’t pour acid over your brand new car and then brush it into your lovely paintwork, it’s the same for teeth. So wait for about 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after a meal.
Whilst we would prefer you to brush your teeth before breakfast, if you do wish to have a freshness after breakfast, do allow your saliva some time to neutralise those acids in your mouth. We will go on to explain the science of why we prefer brushing before breakfast.
There are lots of bacteria in your mouth and plaque develops throughout the day and night. During sleep, there is a reduced salivary flow and this causes the plaque to develop much quicker.
When you brush your teeth before breakfast, you brush away this plaque build up before you eat, meaning the plaque bacteria are no longer present to use the sugars in your food to cause damage to your teeth.
Should you decide to wait until after breakfast to brush your teeth, the plaque bacteria can use the sugars in your diet to produce acid which attacks the enamel of your teeth.
Generally we do not brush frequently enough or with the correct technique, so focus on the simple tips and keep those teeth and gums healthy 😁
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