How you brush your teeth is essential to oral health. But did you know that when you brush is very important too?
Brushing twice a day is part of good oral care, along with daily flossing and regular visits for dental cleanings and examinations. Brushing not only removes any food particles clinging to your teeth and gums, but its main function is to remove harmful plaque.
Plaque is a sticky film that builds up on your teeth between brushings. Plaque contains bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. The bacteria use food and drink sugars to make acids that can eat away at tooth enamel, resulting in cavities. If not removed, plaque can harden into tartar that collects at the gum line, making gums red and swollen and possibly leading to gum disease.
When Should You Brush Your Teeth?
So let’s get back to when to brush your teeth. Brushing every night right before bedtime is very important so plaque and bacteria don’t go into action all night long to damage teeth. When you brush right before bed, your teeth are their cleanest during the long night while you are sleeping.
In the morning, you can brush before breakfast or after you eat the first meal of the day. As long as you are regularly cleaning off harmful plaque twice a day, you are helping to prevent cavities and gum disease.
Actually, we encourage you to brush every time you eat anything! But it’s not a perfect world, and we understand that brushing after every meal or snack can be difficult. The American Dental Association® recommends chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks when you cannot brush. The physical act of chewing increases the amount of saliva in the mouth to helps neutralize and wash away damaging acids.
Let Us Know If You Have Questions on Any Aspect of Oral Health Care
Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.