Basics on Tooth Care
It might count as the great morning debate: Do I only brush in the morning after breakfast? Or should I brush after each meal? We all grew up with these dental “truths.” But the facts about tooth care are a little more complicated. When you should brush your teeth actually depends on a number of factors. If you’re concerned about dental health, these tips should help you keep things straight.
When NOT to Brush Your Teeth
An article on Colgate.com suggests that if you love foodstuffs like oranges or lemonade or any other kind of citrus-y foods, it’s actually a good idea NOT to brush your teeth immediately after eating these types of foods. In all actuality, it’s best to give your choppers a brushing before you down that grapefruit. And you’ll want to drink some high-quality H2O afterward to wash off the acids.
If you feel you must brush right after acid-y food, it’s best to wait at last a half an hour. That gives your mouth time to clear away the acids and help the teeth recover from a weakened state. Consuming acidic foods temporarily weakens your teeth. The pause between food and brushing actually supports tooth health in this case.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is beneficial to brush your teeth twice a day, with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Plaque builds up on the teeth after you eat foods that have a high sugar content. The bacteria that comes from the resulting plaque eats away at the tooth enamel, which causes cavities and other dental issues.
A once before breakfast, once before bed tooth-care schedule fits this scenario best. However, if you’re really concerned about your teeth after eating a particularly sweet meal, go ahead and brush. It’ll help prevent tartar from building up.
All the brushing in the world won’t help if you have a yucky tooth brush. The American Dental Association suggests that you throw out your toothbrush after three or four months of usage and start with a fresh one. If the bristles of the brush get frayed, toss it sooner. Flossing and a healthy diet also make your teeth happy, so be sure to include foods high in calcium to build strong teeth.
The calcium levels in the saliva are lower in the morning than they are any other time of the day. This leaves your teeth open for the most damage, because the teeth don’t have the necessary defenses to fight off the bacteria that has been building up all night. Teeth can become softer, relatively speaking. So be sure to brush before breakfast to get your teeth’s “immune” system back up and running again.