What is your morning oral hygiene routine? Do you immediately head for the bathroom to brush your teeth? Or do you wait until after you enjoy your breakfast and coffee because you’re supposed to brush after meals anyway?
The answer, according to the British Dental Health Foundation, is that brushing before breakfast is correct. There are two good reasons for this:
#1: Overnight Plaque Buildup
During sleep, there’s a dramatic drop-off in the amount of saliva your mouth produces. Saliva helps carry away food particles and bacteria, so this reduction puts your teeth at greater risk for decay and gum disease.
You can wait until after breakfast if you’re set on the routine, but wouldn’t you rather get rid of all that bacteria before you eat?
#2: Acidic Foods Leaves Dental Enamel Vulnerable
Often the foods we eat first thing in the morning-like orange juice-contain high levels of sugar or acid. As the pH level in your mouth changes, these acids temporarily soften your dental enamel. Brushing while the pH in your mouth is this low can actually damage your dental enamel and lead to tooth decay in the future.
While brushing after breakfast isn’t ideal, if you’re set on the routine, wait 30 minutes after the meal to brush and give the pH in your mouth a chance to return to normal. Can’t wait 30 minutes? You can restore normal pH levels in just a few minutes by using an alkaline mouth rinse.
Please Call Us for More Helpful Tips
Dr. Jared Lusk is a family dentist in Farmington, NM who is passionate about helping his patients understand the benefits of excellent oral health and how to achieve it. He has many helpful tips like this one that helps you understand how to better care for your teeth, and he would be happy to share them with you.
Please call Lusk Family Dentistry to arrange your next dental exam and cleaning.