So you’ve probably been told since before you can remember that you need to brush your teeth in order to keep them healthy, but do you know how often you should brush? Some people do it once a day, twice, or after every meal, but which one is right? Is it different for different people, or should everyone be brushing the same? Today, your Lewisville dentist answers one of the most basic questions in all of dentistry.
When Should I Brush My Teeth?
When answering this question, you have to consider what you’re actually doing whenever you brush your teeth. You see, the foods and drinks we enjoy every day always leave a bit of sugar on our teeth, and the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths feed on this sugar. The byproduct of this process is acidic plaque, which if left alone, can eventually start to eat through your teeth. Brushing and flossing removes this plaque every day so your teeth can stay healthy and strong.
So does this mean that you should just brush after meals? Well, no, because while you sleep, bacteria in your mouth tends to grow and multiply at an accelerated rate, which is why everyone wakes up with that “lovely” morning breath taste, and you need to brush your teeth and clean your mouth then, too.
You also shouldn’t brush immediately after every meal as well, because if you consume an item that has a lot of acid in it, like sodas, juices, and energy drinks, brushing can actually damage your enamel because it has been weakened by the acid.
So now that you’re nice and confused, let’s get to it: what is the ideal number of times you should brush your teeth every day?
And the Answer Is…
According to the American Dental Association, which consists of millions of dentists from across the U.S., on average, people should brush their teeth just once in the morning and once in the evening. The morning session will get rid of the bacteria from the night, and the evening will clean away all the plaque and sugar you have accumulated during the day.
Brushing just once simply isn’t enough to keep your teeth completely clean, but more than twice a day can actually wear down your enamel and damage sensitive gum tissue. All in all, brushing twice is ideal for patients of all ages and should ensure that your teeth stay cavity-free. Of course, you should still visit your dentist in Lewisville at least twice a year as well, because brushing and flossing simply can’t take care of all your dental needs.
Well, there you have it! According to the ADA, you should brush for at least two minutes each time, so that’s just four minutes a day. With these four easy minutes, you’ll save yourself hours in the dental chair and thousands of dollars in avoidable treatment every year. You certainly have that kind of time for your smile, right?
About the Author
Dr. Christopher Capehart is a general, restorative, and cosmetic dentist based in Lewisville, TX. In addition to providing comprehensive dental care at his practice, he’s always happy to offer helpful tips so his patients can keep their teeth nice and healthy between appointments. To learn more simple things you can do every day to protect your smile, he can be contacted through his website.