Brush twice a day. We've all heard this recommendation uttered in a dozen ways and a dozen places. It's the 'part of a balanced breakfast' repetition within toothpaste, toothbrush, and dental rinse commercials. You've also probably heard it from your dentist, your hygienist, and every other person at the dental office if you were to ask. It's an undebatable truth we all accept, but at face value, it's also loaded with assumptions.
For example, most things done twice a day are probably performed in the AM and the PM, the morning and the evening. But in terms of brushing your teeth, Dr. Elizabeth Kampschneider's team of professionals at Kennedy Dental wants you to know more details about brushing for the most effective results.
Why Brushing Your Teeth is Important
Your healthy smile is built on the foundation of consistent routine care. So along with your routine general dentistry visits to Kennedy Dental, brushing and flossing at home is vital. Here are the basics:
- Use a brush with soft bristles, which you replace every three months
- Use a toothpaste enriched with fluoride
- Brush for two minutes each time, focusing 30 seconds on each quadrant
- Use gentle pressure – longer is better than stronger
The point of brushing is to remove many types of build-up, from your last meal's food debris to acid build-up from food and drink and the sticky accumulation of bacteria known as plaque. Because you need to deal with so many challenges, understanding why you should brush at certain times is also essential.
Best Times to Brush Your Teeth
While the bacteria in plaque are a primary cause of tooth decay, the things you consume can exacerbate the process. For example, acidic foods like citrus, tomato sauce, and other fruit juices can super-charge plaque and immediately impact teeth. So if your morning routine includes coffee and a glass of orange juice, brushing shortly afterward will wash all those acidic compounds away. Since acids soften enamel, waiting 30 minutes after acidic food consumption can benefit you. Your saliva will start to restore the pH of your mouth.
Finally, you always want to brush before going to bed. First, you don't want to give those sugar-loving, acid-producing bacteria eight to twelve hours of uninterrupted time eating away at your teeth and gums. Also, your mouth produces less saliva while you sleep, meaning even more opportunities for you to suffer tooth decay. So if you remember one thing from this, it's always to brush and floss before going to sleep at night.
Schedule Your Next Dental Appointment in Bellevue, NE
At Kennedy Dental, our goal is for you to enjoy a lifetime of a bright, healthy smile. To help ensure your reach that goal, let us help you devise an effective at-home routine that goes beyond the basics to serve you and your entire family. Contact our Bellevue dentist office at (402) 291-3535 to schedule your next appointment at Kennedy Dental.