When it comes to brushing and flossing, our Kennewick dental team has seen it all: patients who brush every day to only once a week to ten times per day! Often times, it’s difficult to brush your teeth every time you eat or drink something – and trust us, we know that life can sometimes get in the way. So how many times should you really brush your teeth every day?

Here at Anderson & Zentz Dental, we recommend our patients brush their teeth twice a day: every morning and every night before bed.

Brushing your teeth in the morning removes harmful plaque and germ build-up that show up on your teeth while you sleep. While you may think, “I don’t sleep with my mouth open!” or “I’m not even sing my mouth, how does it get dirty?”, you’d be surprised at what you would find on your teeth in the morning!

Whether or not you believe it, you probably spend part of the night with your mouth open, breathing in bacteria from the air and from your pillows that settles on your teeth.

At night, it’s extremely important to brush your teeth and remove any of the particles left in your mouth from the day. This includes leftover food particles you may have been “saving for later” stuck in crevices of your teeth, as well as the bacteria we just discusses that like to settle on your teeth.

In addition to the two times per day we recommend, some patients feel it’s important to brush their teeth after every meal. This can be harmful if not done correctly.

When you eat, your mouth secretes acid within your saliva to help break down the food your chewing (it’s not just your awesome chewing power that breaks down food!). This substance is present in your mouth until your done eating – and up to 30 minutes after.

Whether you’re brushing day, mid-day or night, wait at least 30 minutes after you eat to take the brush to your teeth. Otherwise, you are possibly contributing to the acid erosion of your enamel, by spreading around the higher levels of acid on your teeth.

If you are ever in doubt about your teeth brushing skills, you can ask your dentist or dental hygienist the next time you’re in the dentist chair.