Is Brushing Twice a Day Enough?
Some people find it relaxing and refreshing; others see it as a terrible chore. But we all have to do it! Brushing your teeth is the first step to maintaining strong, healthy teeth and gums, not to mention reducing your dental visits down to regular cleanings! Most of us brush our teeth twice a day, just as we were taught as children: once before bed, and again when we wake up. Nevertheless, cavities and other problems can still occur. Are we really brushing often enough?
To find out, let’s examine why we brush our teeth in the first place. When you brush, you help remove food and plaque—a sticky, white film that forms on your teeth and contains bacteria. After you eat a meal or a snack that contains sugar, the bacteria in plaque feast on that sugar and produce acids that attack tooth enamel. Repeated attacks can break down tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Plaque that isn’t removed can also harden into tartar, making it more difficult to keep teeth clean.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to combat this process. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to brush more, though! In choosing when to brush your teeth, also consider your diet. If you’ve eaten an acidic food or drink, such as a soda, avoid brushing your teeth right away. These acids weaken tooth enamel, and brushing too soon can remove enamel. If you know you’re going to eat or drink something acidic, it’s actually better to brush your teeth beforehand!
Good oral care doesn’t end with brushing, though. In addition to brushing your teeth, the American Dental Association also recommends that you floss daily, drink plenty of water, limit between-meal snacks, replace your toothbrush every three to four months, and schedule regular dental checkups.
Is it time for your regular checkup? Call Discover Dental today to make an appointment! Nobody cleans teeth the way we do—we’ll even autograph your toothbrush!