Do you often catch yourself standing in front of the mirror in your bathroom, wondering how often should you brush your teeth? If you’ve done this before, fear not, you’re not the first nor will you be the last person to ask this question.
Some believe you should brush after every meal, others recommend brushing at least twice a day, while the rest feel that brushing once a day is more than enough to get the job done.
With so many different chains of thought flying around, whose advice would you go for? You already know that brushing your teeth is vital in maintaining good oral health, but is there such a thing as over-brushing?
What happens when you over-brush?
It is recommended that you brush your teeth for two minutes, twice daily. There are people who do brush after every meal or even midday to freshen up. This is not a bad thing but bear in mind that when you start brushing too much or for too long, you can damage your teeth.
Brushing more than three times a day or for longer than two minutes can sometimes lead to your tooth enamel wearing down and cause damage to your gums. Tooth enamel helps to fight against tooth decay, and over-brushing can damage this shield and cause teeth to become sensitive and prone to cavities.
What you should do:
- Practice proper oral hygiene care at home
- Use the right kind of toothbrush to prevent unnecessary enamel erosion
- Schedule regular professional cleanings and exams with your dentist
Generally, brushing your teeth twice daily should suffice. More than that, you might end up damaging your teeth enamel. That’s because most toothpaste contains abrasives like silica which can help to remove the external stains on your teeth.
When is the right time to brush your teeth?
Your twice-daily routine would be once before or after breakfast, and right before bedtime. The most important session of the day is right before bedtime as it is when you are most susceptible to tooth decay. This also reduces the intensity of the way your breath smells in the morning.
It is also debatable on whether you should brush before or after breakfast. Typically, brushing after breakfast removes the food particles from your teeth before they can be converted into acids by the bacteria in your mouth. It doesn’t just protect you from tooth decay, but also leaves you with fresher breath throughout the day.
However, most people prefer to brush their teeth first thing in the morning since it gives you a feeling of freshness. Brushing right after you wake up also gives the fluoride in your toothpaste time to protect your teeth while you get ready for the day.