You’ve probably been told your whole life that you need to brush your teeth twice a day. Even though these guidelines come directly from the American Dental Association, the specifics are sometimes left out and aren’t exactly common knowledge. How are you supposed to know when exactly to carry out these two daily cleanings? It makes sense to brush once at the end of the day, before bedtime, but what about in the mornings: should you brush your teeth upon waking up and before eating breakfast, or after you’ve eaten? Your dentist thinks you should do it before eating breakfast—keep reading to learn why.
Why It’s Better to Brush Before Breakfast
Although it might seem logical to brush your teeth after eating breakfast, there are a few primary benefits to doing it beforehand:
- Clears away that “fuzzy” feeling – Sometimes you might notice a fuzzy or mossy feeling in your mouth when you wake up; this is actually a layer of plaque and bacteria that’s built up on your teeth overnight! It is also often the cause of morning breath or bad taste.
- Shields your smile for the whole day – Brushing first thing in the morning provides your teeth with a protective layer of fluoride that will brighten and fortify them for the day ahead. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that protects your teeth from tooth decay—it’s very helpful.
- Encourages saliva production – Saliva is very important for a lot of reasons, but cavity prevention is one of them. Saliva also helps fluoride and other minerals like calcium to enhance your teeth. Brushing first thing in the morning will also ensure that your body has plenty of saliva to help break down your breakfast.
- Prevents acid damage – Sometimes brushing directly after eating can spread acidic particles around your mouth, rather than clearing them out. Not to mention, certain breakfast staples like orange juice and fruit are very acidic! Experts recommend waiting 30 – 60 minutes to brush after eating to allow your saliva enough time to neutralize the acids.
Properly Brushing Your Teeth
Even if you brush your teeth twice a day, it’s meaningless if you aren’t brushing correctly! Follow the steps below to ensure that you’re safely and effectively cleaning your teeth:
- Wet your brush head with water to lubricate it, and then add a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to the bristles.
- Brush at a 45-degree angle to access hard-to-reach spots. Brush for 2 minutes, ensuring you’re getting the front surfaces of your teeth, the sides, and the chewing surfaces.
- Brush your tongue! It can also collect bacterial residue.
- Spit out any leftover toothpaste and avoid rinsing your mouth for 10 minutes to assist the fluoride.
Brushing your teeth twice every day is one of the best things you can do for your oral health; however, sometimes it’s tough to find the perfect time to do it. You should consider brushing before breakfast to give your smile plenty of additional protection and benefits.
About the Practice
Washington Dental Associates proudly serves patients and families in the Bergenfield community under the leadership of Dr. Mariliza LaCap, Dr. Darren Tong, and their exceptional team. The practice offers a wide range of available services including general, restorative, cosmetic options and more. If you have any questions about the article or would like to schedule a visit, feel free to contact the practice online or give them a call: (201) 453-4863.