Teeth brushing is one of the most important things you can do for your whole body. Besides being a good habit to get into, it benefits your teeth and gums, helps keep plaque at bay, and helps prevent cavities. Unfortunately, brushing your teeth is something we tend to overlook. With so much going on in our lives, we tend to let things fall by the wayside, including brushing our teeth. So how often should you be brushing your teeth?
Ideally, it would help if you brushed your teeth at least twice a day – once in the morning and once before bed. Brushing your teeth twice daily gives you a better chance of preventing cavities, oral diseases, and bad breath.
Evolving dental knowledge has led us to change our recommendations to more closely match the findings of studies. Most dentists and oral health experts agree that the best time to brush your teeth is right after brushing your tongue and before you go to bed. This time frame is when plaque is still on your teeth, giving a greater chance of removing it during brushing.
Also, the bed is when you are most prone to getting a dry mouth and when you are most likely to have some form of an infection or sickness. When this happens, saliva decreases, and the mouth becomes slightly acidic. In these situations, brushing your teeth immediately after you wake up or before bed is essential.
On the other hand, morning brushing before breakfast helps prevent plaque formation on the teeth later in the day. It also keeps your mouth fresh, even after a meal.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day to enjoy a lifetime of good oral health. It is one of the most important things you can do for your whole body. It is also a good habit to get into as it promotes better oral hygiene and helps you prevent cavities.
What is dental plaque?
Dental plaque is the accumulation of teeth and food particles, bacteria, and other matter that forms a horny substance on the surface of your teeth and gums. The hard “plaque” or film adheres to teeth and gums like a thin layer of cement. In addition to being unattractive, plaque on teeth is unhealthy because it contributes to decay, gum disease, and tooth inflammation.
The color of dental plaque (or tartar) may vary from white to yellow, brown, and black. Studies have shown that this color does not reflect the type of bacteria present. Plaque does not change color when treated with bleaching agents or traditional dental sealants.
Dental plaque can be distinguished from normal oral tissue by its highly porous nature and its tendency to contain several different kinds of organisms. Plaque contains more than one hundred different types of bacteria, out of which seventy are considered to be potentially harmful. Of these, nearly all are harmless to the health of your teeth and gums. However, some plaque bacteria are capable of causing disease. Dental plaque is a major cause of both tooth decay and gum disease.
If you brush effectively, your daily teeth cleaning should remove at least 50% of the plaque on each tooth.
Dental plaque forms when food particles or debris containing bacteria and food debris stays on your teeth for long periods. In other words, to have plaque, you must have a buildup of these particles.
To help the teeth look clean, the bacteria that makeup plaque are constantly searching for a way to stick to them. When this happens, the tooth enamel becomes softer and more vulnerable to wear and decay. The next time you brush your teeth, you remove only a portion of the plaque accumulated since the last brushing.