We all know that brushing (and flossing) is super important to keeping our teeth clean and to avoid cavities. But, is there a better or best time to brush your teeth than any other time? Actually, there is.
Most of us probably eat breakfast and then brush our teeth. I know that most people wouldn’t want to partake in any orange juice after they brush their teeth ……but, there is evidence that brushing prior to eating or drinking is the better way to go.
While we sleep, we produce less saliva. Saliva is important for several reasons, one of them being that it contains calcium and fluoride that helps to prevent acidic damage to our teeth. When we brush before we eat in the morning, it stimulates saliva flow and clears away any bacteria that could possible hang on to food/drink particles after we would eat. Eating with clean teeth is actually better so nothing can hang on to the bacteria and cause trouble.
Also, if you do drink or eat something acidic and didn’t brush right beforehand, wait at least a half an hour for your saliva to work on clearing some of the acid away before you brush. Acidic things make our enamel somewhat soft and if you brush right after consuming something, (especially if you brush hard) you can brush enamel away which will make teeth more prone to cavities and sensitivity.
Try to avoid snacking throughout the day. The longer your teeth can go without being bathed in food or drink, the better. In general, eating more healthy and getting rid of that pesky snacking is better not just for your teeth but your overall health.
Of course, we need to brush more than just before we eat breakfast. The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least 2 times a day with a soft-bristled brush. And, I know we all hate it, but try to floss once a day to clean out those spots between your teeth (then you won’t have to lie to your dental hygienist about flossing).
Try to brush before you eat, cut back on acidic foods and drinks, and eat healthier. Simple, right?
Information compiled from the ADA, Mayo Clinic, Dr. Scott Frey, Board Certified Orthodontist and staff at Szmanda Dental Center 2014