Brushing your teeth is absolutely necessary for daily life and oral hygiene. However, there are many tips and tricks to do for better, sparkly teeth. And there’s equally as many rules to prevent your teeth and gums from hurting. Factors like the motions you make, what time of day you brush, and what toothpaste you use can all affect your overall oral health.
Fortunately, there are tons of easy fixes to ensure healthy, white teeth. Here are the top 3 tips to follow and when brushing your teeth.
Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush
You’ve probably been hearing this one since you were small. But when was the last time you actually replaced your toothbrush? If you don’t remember, that’s a sign to go do it now.
Shockingly, toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months, or sooner if your bristles start to wear. Basically, the bacteria from your mouth and the bathroom can accumulate onto your toothbrush over time. The bristles can also become flat, which decreases the efficacy of the clean—resulting in cavities if it isn’t switched.
Also, if you become ill, it’s best to replace your toothbrush after you’ve recovered—even if you haven’t had it for 3 months. The bacteria left on your toothbrush from being sick mixed with the general bacteria in the bathroom can cause you to come down with something else, sadly. Because there is so much bacteria lying around, it’s best to get rid of it once you’ve been infected by some sort of viral or bacterial illness.
No, you don’t have to brush your teeth right after eating
Back when office life was a thing, I’d always see a colleague in the bathroom after lunch or her late afternoon coffee, going to town with brushing her teeth. When I’d ask her why she felt the need, she said bad gum health and cavities run in her family and she would do anything to prevent that on her life. But, as it turns out, dentists don’t make brushing your teeth after consuming food mandatory for a reason.
Essentially, you have the most bacteria in your month when you wake up in the morning. It’s best to brush before your morning meal. The fluoride in toothpaste will help protect your teeth against the food you consume.
Not to mention, the majority of breakfast foods are actually quite acidic. Say, for example, you like to drink orange juice in the morning. Well, brushing your teeth post-OJ and not before, can actually spread the acid even further into your enamel with your bristles. In fact, the American Dental Association, advises brushing your teeth at minimum an hour after you’ve eaten breakfast if you feel like you need a brush.
Start brushing your teeth twice a day, not just in the morning
This should be common sense right? The ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day. The best way to keep bacteria from growing and building up is to brush your teeth right before breakfast and right before bed.
Plaque, a sticky coating, can sit on your teeth and gum line and brushing twice daily is one of the best ways to combat that. And, as you probably already know, eating sugary foods can allow the plaque to attack your tooth enamel—causing cavities. If the plaque is not dealt with, the buildup can eventually harden and form tartar—resulting in gum disease.