when is the best time to brush your teeth
Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential for your oral health. The best times to brush are at night before bed and in the morning after you get up

Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential for your oral health. Brushing at night before bed helps remove bacteria and reduces damage to your enamel, since saliva production is minimal when you’re sleeping. Brushing in the morning also removes the bacteria that has built up in your mouth overnight.

Avoid brushing your teeth after eating breakfast, however, especially acidic food or drinks such as coffee or citrus fruits. Acids weaken tooth enamel and may cause damage if you brush too soon after eating. Wait at least 30 minutes to an hour until brushing.

How to brush your teeth properly

  • Brush thoroughly: Brush your back molars, along your gum line, etc. for 2 minutes with fluoride-containing toothpaste.
  • Brush gently: Gently brush up, down, back and forth, and in a circular motion. Avoid brushing too hard.
  • Hold the brush properly: Hold the at a 45 degree angle as this will help remove plaque.
  • Use mouthwash: After brushing and flossing, rinse and gargle with mouthwash. Mouthwash can help wash away any bacteria hiding in your mouth.

What type of toothbrush should you use?

When it comes to good dental hygiene, the type of toothbrush you use is important as well. Here are some points to consider when choosing a good toothbrush:

  • Bristles should be soft.
  • Size and shape should be comfortable and reach all areas of your mouth.
  • If you have difficulty holding the brush or if you have arthritis, a battery-operated or electric brush may be a good choice.

How to take care of your toothbrush

Taking proper care of your toothbrush involves:

  • Replacing regularly: Replace your brush after every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles are worn at the edges or start to fray.
  • Storing properly: Keep your toothbrush in an upright position after every use. Let it air dry and don’t keep it in a closed container.

Tips for taking good care of your teeth

When you take care of your teeth, you reduce your odds of developing dental problems such as cavities. Here are a few tips that can help:

  • Always clean your tongue with a tongue cleaner or scraper after you have finished brushing your teeth.
  • Floss after meals to remove plaque and trapped food particles that your toothbrush can't reach. You can use:
    • Dental floss or pick
    • Floss threader
    • Water flosser
    • Wooden or silicone wedge plaque remover
    • Tiny brushes that reach in between the teeth
  • Rinse after you floss.
  • Avoid using toothpicks as they can hurt your gums and promote bacteria growth.
  • Quit smoking. Tobacco not only stains your teeth but can also damage your gums.

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Medically Reviewed on 9/15/2021
References
When and how often should you brush your teeth? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/brushing-your-teeth/faq-20058193

Teeth & Gum Care. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11186-teeth--gum-care

Brushing Your Teeth. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth