Brushing your teeth twice a day is a great start to good oral health. However, there are other factors to take into account when ensuring a healthy mouth. From when you brush your teeth, to the rinsing of your mouth, there are important things you need to take into account.
This might seem silly to you… you have been brushing your teeth all of your life, you know how to brush them, right? Interestingly, in a survey that was undertaken by the FDI World Dental Federation it was highlighted that over half of the respondents were in fact not brushing their teeth correctly, and didn’t know when was the best time to brush them. With over 12,000 people worldwide taking part in this survey, that is a substantial number of people not efficiently caring for their dental needs.
Should I brush my teeth before or after breakfast… or any meal?
One question we often get asked is ‘when is the best time to brush your teeth… before or after your meals?’. When surveyed by the FDI World Dental Federation, 56% of people thought it was good practice to brush their teeth straight after every main meal. In contrast to this, it is best practice to brush your teeth before you have your breakfast in the morning, or wait at least 30 minutes after eating before commencing brushing.
56% of people surveyed by the FDI World Dental Federation thought it was good practice to brush their teeth straight after every main meal.
The reasoning behind this is due to the fact that when you eat, the acid from your food sticks to your enamel and weakens it temporarily. If you brush your teeth when your enamel is weak, you will brush away the softened enamel. This in turn can lead to tooth decay and discoloured teeth. This is why it is best practise to brush your teeth before your meal. Alternatively, allow for the 30 minutes added time after eating before grabbing your toothbrush. This will help to give the enamel time to recover.
Rinsing your Mouth
A lot of us are in the habit of rinsing our mouth with water when we are finished brushing our teeth to get rid of the excess toothpaste in our mouth. The FDI World Dental Federation again show that 68% of people surveyed have the incorrect approach to this, and incorrectly rinse out their mouth with water after brushing.
68% of people surveyed have the incorrect approach to this, and incorrectly rinse out their mouth with water after brushing
In contrast to the acid from food damaging the enamel on your teeth, the fluoride in your toothpaste helps to strengthen it, so it is best not to wash it away straight after brushing. We recommend omitting the rinse after removing the excess toothpaste, allowing some of the fluoride to continue to work its magic.
Tips on how to Brush your Teeth
You may think you are brushing your teeth right, but it is important to double check that you actually are. You don’t want to cause more damage than good. Below are some helpful tips on how to brush your teeth:
- Aim your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gums.
- Use gentle circular movements to clean the front and back of your teeth. This will ensure the bristles reach in between your teeth.
- Use back and forth movements for the chewing surface of your teeth.
- Ensure to reach your gumline.
Don’t brush your teeth too hard. This may cause damage to your teeth. The circular motion should be enough to remove plaque from your teeth, and food particles in between your teeth. If you are using an electric toothbrush, this will do the work for you. Just make sure you take it one tooth at a time.
We can’t stress the importance of the timing of brushing your teeth for enamel protection. If you don’t want to brush your teeth before eating, wait at least 30 minutes to do so after finishing your meal.