Brushing Teeth

Brushing your teeth is just as important as getting a checkup at your local doctor and ensuring you eat a healthy and balanced diet. We all know that we should brush our teeth, but do you know how you should be doing it to maintain optimal oral health? 

If your answer is no, there’s no need to panic. Today we’re going through the ins and out of how to brush your teeth correctly, so you’re no longer playing a guessing game. 

How often should you brush your teeth?

It’s pretty common knowledge that you should brush your teeth twice per day; once in the morning and once at night. However, you can also brush after each meal. You may find that if you have orthodontics in, you might want to brush after every meal as food can commonly get stuck; even if it’s just to clean your brace with an interdental brush

How long should you brush your teeth?

The recommended time is at least 2 minutes. We recommend sectioning your mouth into four quarters and brushing each quarter in detail for thirty seconds. Make sure to pay attention to each individual tooth. If you have an electric toothbrush, it’ll automatically time a 2-minute brush for you which is separated into 30-second intervals.

Should you brush your teeth before or after breakfast?

This is a difficult one as some people prefer to brush their teeth as soon as they wake. However, if you’ve ever eaten food immediately after brushing, it usually tastes pretty bad. This is actually because your sweet food receptors are usually inhibited for 30 minutes after brushing.

If you choose to brush your teeth after breakfast though, you should wait at least 30 minutes. This is because some food can be acidic which weakens your tooth enamel. If you then decide to brush straight after, you could be brushing away your enamel. 

Generally speaking, dental professionals recommend brushing before breakfast because overnight the bacteria in your mouth can multiply rapidly. There’s also been a study that suggests that brushing your teeth first thing in the morning boosts your saliva production which we know is a contributing factor to increased oral health.  

Woman Brushing Teeth

What happens if you don’t brush your teeth?

Over the course of the day, a film of bacteria, called plaque, builds up on your teeth which, if left, can cause your tooth enamel to weaken and will eventually cause cavities and tooth decay. When you brush your teeth you’re not only removing this plaque buildup, you’re also protecting your mouth for up to 12 hours; especially if you’re using the right toothpaste. 

Are electric toothbrushes better?

If you’ve ever used an electric toothbrush, you may have felt that your mouth feels a lot cleaner. This is because these brushes can spin far faster than you’d ever be able to achieve manually. They also often come with pressure sensors so you can avoid overbrushing. They also encourage you to brush for the full two minutes thanks to built-in timers. Because of these reasons, we recommend using electric toothbrushes. 

How often should you change your toothbrush? 

Colgate recommends that you should change your toothbrush once every three to four months. This also applied to electric toothbrushes too where you can just switch out the head. However, there are other times where you should change your toothbrush earlier. For example, if you’re sick, you should change your toothbrush as there could be leftover bacteria on the brush from the sickness. Also, if the brush is looking a little worse for wear sooner than three months, you should consider changing. You should note though, that if you’re going through toothbrushes fast, you may be brushing too hard. 

What’s the best toothpaste to use?

This can entirely depend on your personal needs and is something you should chat to your dentist about. There are specific kinds of toothpaste designed for sensitivity, whitening, gum disease, smokers and more. 

As long as the toothpaste contains fluoride though, you should be good to go. Additionally, ingredients such as baking soda, Zinc Citrate, Triclosan or Sodium Pyrophosphate are all proven to prevent the buildup of plaque for as long as 12 hours. 

Why are my teeth yellow when I brush them every day?

This could be due to several reasons and we recommend discussing it with your dentist. However, most commonly, your diet and lifestyle could be affecting the yellowness of your teeth. Drinks like tea, coffee and red wine can stain your teeth quite badly as can smoking. Some people also just have naturally yellower teeth. The dentin inside your teeth is a specific colour and some people’s are whiter than others. If you have fairly white dentin, teeth whitening would work for you, if not, you might want to consider procedures like getting veneers to get a celebrity smile. 

Can you brush your teeth too much?

Generally, no, you can’t really brush your teeth too often, however, you can overbrush. By this, we mean that you can brush too aggressively. You can also brush too soon after eating which can weaken your enamel and cause you problems in the long run. 

Brushing Too Much

Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?

This, unfortunately, could be the early signs of gum disease presenting itself. However, it could just be that you have a lot of plaque buildup and your gums have become inflamed and sensitive. If you experience bleeding gums when brushing, we recommend reaching out to your dentist. It could be fixed by a thorough hygienist appointment, however further treatment may be required to avoid further damage. 

How to brush your teeth when you have braces?

Brushing your teeth when you have braces can be difficult, especially because food can get trapped in them and cause issues. Alongside this, if you’ve just had them tightened, you can experience increased tooth sensitivity. 

It’s best to rinse your mouth before brushing when you have braces, this can help to remove any larger particles of food. 

Then, you brush the top area of the teeth near the gumline. You may need to use a special type of brush that’s designed for those with braces. 

Next up, it’s time to clean the brackets, brush on top of the brackets using a downward angle. 

Finally, go underneath the brackets/wire and brush at an upward angle. Be sure to thoroughly clean all your teeth. 

We also recommend using interdental brushes to clean between your braces and remove any food that may be caught in there. 

When it comes to flossing, you may benefit more from a water flosser while you have braces as it’s much easier to use. 

When to start brushing baby teeth

You should start to brush baby teeth as soon as they get their first tooth; this usually happens when they’re around six months. Like with adult brushing, you should brush for 2 minutes using fluoride-based toothpaste. 

We hope this post helped answer all your questions about brushing, however, if you have any more questions, feel free to ask us below or reach out to us via our contact form. By following these guidelines, you can be sure that your teeth will remain healthy and strong for years to come.