Many people are so busy in their daily lives, that stopping to brush their teeth is often overlooked. The American Dental Association recommends that people brush their teeth at least twice per day for two minutes. This dental advice is true most of the time and for most people, but there are also situations in which you may need to brush your teeth more frequently.
Routine Brushing of Your Teeth
Children and adults with healthy teeth and gums should be able to maintain proper dental hygiene by brushing their teeth twice daily with a toothpaste recommended by the American Dental Association. A soft-bristled toothbrush is the optimal choice. Both manual and electric toothbrushes get the job done. After about three months, it is a good idea to replace the toothbrush. This is because the bristles wear out, and worn bristles could actually damage the enamel of the teeth.
Brushing After Sweet Treats and Sticky Foods
When you eat a sweet treat or a sticky food, be sure to brush your teeth right away. The longer the sugar or sticky residue stays on your teeth, the more of a chance that bacteria will have to digest the sugar and release acids that wear away the enamel of your teeth. If you eat or drink ice cream, cookies, candy, chocolate, sugary coffee drinks, cakes or brownies, be sure to drink some water and brush your teeth right away.
When to Wait to Brush Your Teeth
Sometimes, it is better to wait a little bit to brush your teeth. If you have just consumed something acidic, such as slices of tomatoes, lemonade or a sparkling beverage, you should wait about 30 minutes to brush your teeth. This is because the acid temporarily softens your enamel. Brushing softened enamel could cause more damage, including erosion of the enamel, which is not reversible. Drinking some water and waiting a bit allows your saliva to harden the enamel so that it is at its full strength when you brush it.
Who May Need to Brush More Frequently
Some people may need to brush more often than twice per day. The dentist might recommend that you brush your teeth three or more times daily if you fall into one or more of these categories:
- People with gum disease
- Anyone with orthodontic devices, including braces or palate expansion devices
- People with chronic conditions such as heart disease
- Women who are pregnant
- People undergoing treatments or using medications that cause dry mouth
The airport dentist in Queens, Dr. Trager, offers spersonalized dental advice for anyone who wants to have a healthier and better-looking smile. Regular visits with the dentist are also important to cleaning plaque and tartar off of the teeth. The dental hygienists and dentists at the airport dentist in Queens can show you how to properly brush your teeth, especially if you have dexterity problems or dental appliances or restorations that make the process more challenging.