Timely Teeth: When Should You Brush Your Teeth?

“We recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes.” You have likely heard this advice before, whether it was from your parents, from your dentist, or from toothbrush commercials.  Good brushing habits reduces the buildup of plaque, which can lead to serious dental issues like tooth decay. It goes without question that daily brushing is one of the most vital components of dental health, and should never be skipped.


But when, exactly, should you brush your teeth? Should you brush your pearly whites before or after breakfast? What about in the evening? Before or after that midnight snack? Read on to find out how you can make the most of your brushing time:


In the morning: before you eat

Many people love to wake up to the smell of bacon wafting into their room on a sunny Saturday morning. Even on weekday mornings, some people slide out of bed and eat breakfast before doing anything else, claiming that it helps “wake them up.” However, you should avoid eating before brushing in the morning. Why? According to Scott  Frey, a Board Certified Orthodontist on Quora.com, salivary calcium levels are lowest in the morning. In other words, it is much easier for bacteria to break through tooth enamel in the morning, especially if they are aided with sugary and acidic food and beverages consumed at breakfast. Worse, brushing your teeth after the bacteria have weakened it over breakfast can actually harm your tooth enamel. Therefore, brushing before you eat starts salivary production that was slowed overnight, thereby strengthening your teeth’s defenses.


In the evening: after you eat

On the other hand, brushing your teeth at night is a complete reversal: you want to brush after you have finished consuming food and beverages for the day. For example, if you brush before dinner, then consume a meal of steak, broccoli, potatoes, soda, and an ice cream dessert, the sugars and acids left standing on your teeth will allow bacteria to chip away at your teeth all night long. Alternatively, brushing your teeth right before bedtime ensures that all acids and food particles are cleaned from your mouth for the night, giving your teeth a rest.


Interested in learning more? Want other tips to improve your dental hygiene? Your friends at Greenspoint Dental are here to help. For questions or more information, feel free to contact our offices in Houston, Texas today.