Brushing your teeth is the most basic but effective way to protect your teeth. This simple act takes mere minutes out of your day. In return, it helps you keep your teeth happy and healthy–for much longer! Brushing fights cavities. Find out how often you should brush–and when you really shouldn’t!
Plaque Causes Cavities
Plaque is a colorless, sticky film full of bacteria that builds up on your teeth over time. It’s especially noticeable when you wake up in the morning, or when you’ve eaten sugary snacks and forgot to brush your teeth afterward. This plaque is the buildup created by germs eating the sugar on your teeth and is acidic. If you don’t regularly brush off the build up your teeth will be eaten away by the plaque. Unfortunately, this results in weak spots in your enamel, discoloration, and eventually painful cavities. Once cavities form on your teeth, the only way to fix them is to visit your dentist. Once you have a cavity, you can’t undo the damage. However, you can prevent them from further damage with regular brushing.
How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth?
Surprisingly, most people don’t know how often they should brush their teeth. It’s actually a very common question. The absolute minimum requirement for brushing your teeth is twice a day. It includes once after breakfast and once before you go to bed. For better tooth health, you should pack a toothbrush with you and brush after lunch as well.
If you really want to protect your teeth, you should brush them after you’ve eaten anything sugary throughout the day. You especially want to brush them after drinking sodas, consuming hard candies, or even eating something loaded with carbs. Taking a moment to polish your smile will keep it pearly white for a long time to come. If for some reason, you know you won’t be able to brush your teeth after eating, it’s better to skip the snack entirely.
When Shouldn’t You Brush Your Teeth?
Obviously, you want to brush your teeth often; however, you should make sure you leave enough time between eating certain foods and brushing. While the enamel in your teeth operates like a strong protective layer, some acidic foods are known to soften it. For instance, if you drink orange juice or eat a big bowl of tomato-sauced pasta, you’re also consuming a lot of acids. These foods soften your enamel. If you brush your teeth immediately after, you can actually end up damaging your teeth that way.
Don’t think you have to cut acidic foods entirely out of your diet. Just make sure you wait half an hour after eating to brush your teeth. That strikes the right balance between protecting your teeth from cavities, and protecting your softened enamel from brushing too soon!
Why is it important to brush your teeth? It’s important because brushing your teeth protects them from decay and discoloration. You can keep your mouth free from cavities with regular brushing. Just be sure that you’re planning effectively–you want to make sure you have the time to brush properly after eating, whether that food is sugary or acidic.