There has been some debate recently, in the media, about whether you should brush your teeth before or after breakfast.
Brushing our teeth is one of the most fundamental things that we can do to keep our teeth clean. It also only takes a few minutes a day, but it is important that this time is well spent by cleaning correctly.
When to brush in the morning
Brushing too soon after eating them can damage the enamel in its weakened state. Consequently, it's a good idea to brush your teeth before eating an acidic food and to drink a glass of water when you are finished to wash away the acids.
The truth is that it really doesn’t matter if you brush before or after your breakfast. There are pros and cons to both times. If you don’t brush before your food, much of the sticky plaque on your teeth and gums may be swallowed. This isn’t harmful but may be a little ‘yucky’ for some. On the other hand, if you brush before eating, some food, such as fruit, can have a very strange taste indeed. It won’t make too much difference to be frank, but our recommendation would probably be to brush after breakfast so that any sugars are cleaned from the teeth well before you eat again. If you do this though, make sure to leave a short time after eating before you brush. Some foods marginally soften the enamel, making it easier to wear them down just a little when you brush them.
When to brush in the evening
“It is best to brush your teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and evening," he said. "You should wait at least 30 minutes after eating to brush the teeth, otherwise the acid can damage the tooth surface.
There is only one strict rule here and that is once you have brushed your teeth, the only thing you should consume is water. Any other food, including milk, will leave sugars or other food deposits in your mouth whilst you sleep. Make sure that you go to sleep with clean teeth and gums.
There are a few simple rules to follow when brushing your teeth
Make sure that your brush is no more than 3 months old. Replace it if it is.
Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride (most do, but do check)
Angle the bristles slightly towards the gums. This allows for better cleaning of the gum line
Brush gently in a circular motion for at least 2 minutes
Spit but do not rinse your mouth. This allows for better fluoride absorption which will help to protect your teeth.
Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush is a matter of choice. We would probably suggest an electric one though as many of these are designed to cut out if you press too hard. This minimises the risk of worn tooth enamel.