When and how many times should I brush my teeth?
The answer for this seemingly very easy question is not that obvious for a lot of people. The short answer is the following: twice per day. But there are more questions, let’s see some of them!
Which is ‘the most important’ tooth-brushing?
Of course all of them, so cleaning our teeth is important at the morning and at the evening too. But teeth-cleaning at the evenings cannot be left out because of removing plaque which formed on your teeth all day long and contains millions of bacteria. During the night the saliva production is less so the cleaning and pH level restorer function of the saliva is reduced too which enables the bacteria to spread and form tartar. Tartar in long term can lead to gum disease which an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that supports your teeth.
When I should do the tooth-brushing before or after breakfast?
During the night bacteria builds in your mouth despite of the evening tooth-brushing. Eating a breakfast high in sugars and acids, for example orange juice and sugary cereal, can change the pH level in your mouth which weakens the tooth enamel. Brushing straight after you eat can result in you scraping off the softened or weakened enamel letting the acid go even deeper into the teeth. Brushing before breakfast will help get rid of this build-up of plaque. Meaning that the sugars from your food won’t be able to combine with the bacteria from the plaque, to form the acid which attacks and destroys your tooth’s enamel. If you wait until after you eat to brush your teeth you are allowing the sugars to mix with all the plaque that’s built up over night, creating the acid that will eat away at your tooth’s enamel for at least 20 minutes after eating.
What about remains of food in my mouth after breakfast?
Shouldn’t I clean out the leftover food from my mouth? Experts suggest that simply rinsing your mouth with water after eating should remove any leftover food particles that might cause issue. Even better – if you have time – why not floss as well!
Still I would like to brush my teeth after breakfast!
All right, but never brush immediately after an acidic meal or drink. Always wait at least 30 but rather 60 minutes. During this time the pH level in our mouth turn to be normal again and you cannot hurt your teeth.
Can I brush my teeth too many times?
Common misbelief if you brush your teeth more often that will help to prevent dental problems but this is not really true. You have to wait in between eating and tooth-brushing minimum half an hour especially if you ate sugary food. If don’t you use electric toothbrush be aware of not pushing too hard it to your teeth because that can cause harm at the ‘neck’ of the teeth. (You cannot make this mistake if you have electric toothbrush because that makes a signal when you push too hard.)
Can chewing gum substitute brushing your teeth?
While chewing sugar-free gum after a meal can be better than not doing anything, it’s certainly no substitute for brushing or flossing. Brushing and flossing for at least two minutes, twice a day, is the only way to truly clean your teeth and reach the tight spots between them.
Did you know that? Despite of the regular tooth-brushing bacteria stick to the teeth!
As plaque forms and is not removed by proper brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar. Unlike plaque, which is a colourless film of bacteria, tartar is a mineral build-up that’s fairly easy to see if above the gum line. The most common sign of tartar is a yellow or brown colour to teeth or gums. The only way for sure to detect tartar — and to remove it — is to see your dentist. Once tartar has formed, only your dentist or hygienist can remove it. The process for removing tartar is called scaling. During a scaling, the dentist or hygienist uses special instruments to remove tartar from your teeth above and below the gum line. In the Swiss Prémium Medical Center our hygienist remove the tartar without any pain. Ask for an appointment today at +36 1 225 0566!
The content was reviewed by Dorina Péter MD