Tips&TricksThe right way to brush your teeth: Morning mistakes you're making

The right way to brush your teeth: Morning mistakes you're making

Brushing teeth.
Brushing teeth.
Images source: © Getty Images | Tatiana

9:41 AM EDT, April 22, 2024

Brushing teeth is an essential part of our morning routine. However, many of us still do it wrongly. A single mistake can damage the enamel and lead to unpleasant outcomes. So, how should you correctly brush your teeth? Here are some valuable tips.

Proper toothbrushing goes beyond a simple two-minute oral care ritual. The timing, technique, and follow-up care are crucial. The process is incomplete without these, potentially leading to cavities and gum diseases. But how can you brush without harming your teeth?

Should you brush your teeth in the morning before or after breakfast? A common mistake

Do you start your day with brewing coffee and eating breakfast before brushing your teeth? This is a significant mistake. Though it might seem logical to brush after eating, it's better to do it immediately after waking up. Why? Many bacteria accumulate in your mouth overnight, and you should get rid of them before your first meal. Eating breakfast without brushing first means transferring bacteria from your teeth into your body, which isn't safe.

Brushing your teeth before breakfast boosts saliva production and aids digestion. Saliva also contains compounds that neutralize some of the bacteria. Ideally, you should brush your teeth before and after breakfast, but there's a caveat.

Brushing after breakfast shouldn't be done immediately after eating. It's important to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. This delay is necessary because acidic foods might slightly weaken the enamel, making the teeth more sensitive. Brushing immediately after could further damage the enamel.

Is two minutes of brushing enough?

Though we've been taught to brush our teeth for two minutes morning and night, thoroughness is key. It's not just about the duration but also about ensuring no part of the mouth is missed. A sweeping motion is recommended to remove plaque and food particles effectively. Don't forget the tongue, which is a breeding ground for bacteria. Special tongue brushes are available to keep it clean.

Do you rinse your mouth right after brushing? Contrary to what many of us learned as children, you shouldn't immediately rinse with water or mouthwash—rinsing washes away most of the fluoride, which is crucial for tooth protection. It's better to wait 30 minutes after brushing before rinsing, allowing fluoride enough time to form a protective layer on your teeth. Only then is the brushing process truly complete and effective.

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