For many years you may have heard that in order to maintain healthy teeth you need to brush twice a day for two minutes and floss nightly, but is that enough to maintain optimal dental health? When is the best time to brush? Is it better to brush once you get out of bed or after breakfast?
Duration is important, and by that I do not mean necessarily mean brushing duration (although two minutes at a minimum is highly recommended), I am talking about bacteria duration. The longer bacteria stays on the teeth uninterrupted, the more advanced it can become and the more of a chance that it can multiply.
With this information, it would seem that the best time to brush would be immediately after eating, but that is not true either. The reason for that is the acidic buildup on the teeth immediately after you eat, especially if you have been eating acidic foods. If you were to brush immediately after eating, it would cause the outer layer of the teeth to break down more easily.
It is recommended that you wait 30 minutes after eating prior to brushing. This allows the saliva to naturally neutralize the acidity. If you want to give your salivary glands a boost, what you can do is chew gum with a natural ingredient called xylitol. All you need to do is chew on the gum for five minutes to receive its benefits. Xylitol is also good to help promote remineralization of the enamel and is a deterrent against the bacterial strand which causes dental decay.
As far as how many times you have to brush per a day, it depends on the results you are looking for. If you want the best results, you should be brushing at least 30 minutes after every meal. No only will this break up bacteria levels immediately, but also work to reduce the formation of calculus (tartar) buildup more efficiently.
The last step to maintain optimal dental health is to see your dentist for exams every six months, and for a cleaning every six, four, or three months depending on your dentist’s recommendation.
Written by: Thomas Harless, RDH July 3, 2019« Back