Brushing your teeth involves more than just a toothbrush and toothpaste; it’s a routine that must be done properly and habitually for the best results. One of the most common questions that people ask their dentists is: Should you brush your teeth after every meal? This article will answer this and other related queries.
5 Benefits of Brushing Your Teeth Regularly
Although brushing your teeth habitually may, at times, seem tedious and unnecessary, it’s an important task that determines how healthy and strong your teeth will be. In any case, it’s a simple task that takes only a few minutes and its benefits are immense. Here are the main benefits of brushing your teeth frequently.
1. Prevent Toothaches
Keeping your teeth clean through regular brushing helps to prevent decay, which is the main cause of toothaches. Toothaches can bring everything in your life to an abrupt halt, especially when multiple teeth are affected.
Even when you have an oral complication that causes a toothache, you won’t need extensive treatment if your teeth are strong and healthy. Brushing your teeth regularly also helps to keep your gums healthy, thus preventing gum infections and other oral diseases that can cause toothaches.
2. Save Money
Dental treatment can be expensive, especially if it involves the filling of decayed teeth or the replacement of lost teeth. Therefore, you should do everything possible to keep your teeth strong and healthy, including brushing your teeth regularly.
Although some dental complications are inevitable, most cases of tooth decay can be avoided by simply following a proper tooth brushing routine.
Therefore, cleaning your teeth properly eliminates the unnecessary costs of dental treatment. Taking care of your teeth by brushing them thoroughly and regularly is an easy way to save money.
3. Freshen Up
Bad breath can be very uncomfortable, not just to you, but to the people you interact with. It’s also very embarrassing and can easily cause depression and low self-esteem. Thankfully, you can easily deal with this problem by brushing your teeth regularly.
Brushing your teeth with the right toothpaste leaves you with a fresh and minty taste in your mouth, and keeps your breath fresh for hours. Many people brush their teeth regularly just to have a fresh taste and breath.
Fortunately, their gums and teeth benefit in the process. Brushing your teeth in the morning, in the afternoon, and at bedtime will help you to freshen up your breath.
4. Sparkling Smile
Keeping your teeth clean and gleaming will boost your confidence because you can interact with other people and smile freely. Although your teeth don’t have to be pure white to look clean and healthy. Your enamel could be naturally creamy or off-white.
The most important thing is to clean your teeth thoroughly, ensuring that all food particles and other debris are removed. Basically, when you brush your teeth, you are enhancing your social life.
5. Inspiring a Positive Mindset
When your confidence to socialize improves, your self-esteem will improve and you will always have a positive mindset. Having a set of strong, healthy teeth will give you a renewed zest for life.
Should You Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal?
The debate about when to brush your teeth is always very contentious, with some people claiming that you should brush your teeth immediately after every meal. But is this really accurate? After a meal, a sticky, white biofilm known as plaque, which contains bacteria, forms on your teeth.
When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria in the plaque produce acids that attack your tooth enamel, causing decay and cavities. This attack normally happens for at least 30 minutes after your meal.
If this plaque is not removed regularly, it hardens into tartar that attaches to the gums, causing inflammations and gum diseases. Therefore, brushing your teeth after your meals helps to remove this plaque, preventing cavities, tooth decay, and gum diseases.
While it’s important to make sure that there are no food particles and other debris left in your mouth after a meal, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should brush your teeth immediately after every meal.
According to Colgate, brushing your teeth after every meal can easily affect your tooth enamel, especially if your food contains citric acid, like grapefruits, oranges, and lemons.
Brushing your teeth too soon after consuming such foods is considered bad for the health of your teeth because citric acid weakens your tooth enamel. Therefore, brushing immediately after the meal will remove the enamel, putting your teeth at risk of cavities and decay.
The Mouth Healthy by the American Dental Association advises you to wait at least one hour before brushing your teeth after a meal.
That way, your saliva will have enough time to wash away any food particles and the citric acid found in foods, allowing your mouth to return to its normal pH levels. You can chew sugarless gum or drink water as you wait for your mouth’s pH level to normalize.
But what happens at night when you fall asleep before you brush your teeth? Shouldn’t you brush your teeth immediately after your dinner to avoid falling asleep before brushing your teeth?
It’s very important to brush your teeth before you go to bed, but this doesn’t mean that you pick up your brush and toothpaste right after your evening meal. You should give yourself some time after your last meal before you brush your teeth, probably half an hour after your dinner or right before you go to bed.
What’s the Best Time to Brush Your Teeth?
It’s common knowledge that you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. But some people aren’t sure when is the right time to brush their teeth. There is also an ongoing debate among dental experts about the benefits of brushing your teeth in the morning and the evening.
As discussed above, brushing your teeth immediately after your meals is not good for your teeth. so, you have to give yourself at least one hour after your meal to brush your teeth. At night, brush your teeth an hour after your dinner or just before you go to bed. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep before you perform this important task.
Brushing your teeth before going to bed helps to produce enough saliva to remove harmful bacteria that cause cavities. It also removes food particles that the bacteria feed on to survive while you sleep. Just make sure you do not drink or eat sugary foods after brushing your teeth.
In the morning, the best time to brush your teeth is right after stepping out of bed. Bacteria builds up in your mouth overnight, leaving you with a bad taste and breath. The harmful plaque also builds on your teeth throughout the night. So, brushing your teeth when you wake up helps to remove this film and the bacteria in it.
It also stimulates your glands to produce saliva, which washes away food particles and other debris from your mouth. Saliva is also important to restore your mouth’s normal pH. If you use fluoride toothpaste, you will be giving your teeth an additional cover of protection before you enjoy your first meal.
Does this mean that it’s more beneficial to brush your teeth before breakfast as opposed to after breakfast? The short answer is, yes, depending on what you have for breakfast.
As mentioned above, brushing your teeth right after a meal with citric acid can easily damage your tooth enamel. Therefore, it’s more beneficial to brush your teeth before your morning meals.