Best time to brush your teeth with Arm and Hammer toothpaste and Sprinbrush toothbrush

When Should You Brush Your Teeth: Tips for How Often & How Long

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth with a softer bristled toothbrush twice per day for two minutes. But when are the best times to brush, and is it possible to brush too much? Follow these tips for a healthy smile

How Many Times a Day Should You Brush Your Teeth?

Two is the number to remember when it comes to how many times you should brush your teeth every day. Brush two times every day for two minutes each time.

You might think that since brushing twice a day is good for your teeth that more is better. In this case, however, more can be worse. Overbrushing your teeth – either by brushing too vigorously or too often – can accelerate the loss of enamel on your teeth and lead to gingivitis and gum recession. So, two (not more) is the recommended number of times to brush daily for optimal tooth health.

What Time of Day is Best to Brush Your Teeth?

The ADA and dentists agree that when you wake up in the morning and before you go to sleep at night are the best times of day to brush your teeth. Why? Bacteria build up in your mouth and on your teeth at night, so a proper morning brushing helps remove that residue and prep your teeth for the day ahead. And, after a day of eating and drinking, you need to brush (and floss) your teeth at night to remove food particles, help prevent plaque from hardening into tartar, and protect your gumline.

In general, brushing your teeth should be the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you do before going to sleep.

Should I Brush My Teeth Before or After Breakfast?

While brushing your teeth in the morning is the goal, there is an advantage to brushing your teeth before you’ve had breakfast or coffee. Brushing your teeth prior to eating in the morning does two helpful things:

  • Boosts your saliva production to prep your mouth to break down food particles when you eat.
  • The fluoride in your toothpaste coats your tooth enamel with a protective layer to help guard against acids in your food.

Plus, the ADA recommends that you wait at least one hour after eating to brush your teeth to help protect your tooth enamel. If you do choose to brush after breakfast, wait at least 60 minutes before you brush.

If you brush before breakfast but want a refresh after eating, swish your mouth with mouthwash or plain water before you head out the door, or chew a piece of sugar-free gum to activate your saliva and provide a minty taste.

How Long After Eating Should I Wait to Brush My Teeth?

The ADA recommends waiting 60 minutes after eating to brush your teeth. Waiting an hour after eating to brush is even more important if you’ve eaten acidic foods like grapes, pineapple, soy sauce, cheese, processed meat like salami, pepperoni or corned beef, tomatoes, or high-sodium foods such as chips or crackers.

Why? Acidic foods weaken your tooth enamel, and it takes about an hour after eating for your saliva to help the enamel recover. Brushing your teeth while the enamel is weakened from acidic food can accelerate tooth enamel loss, so it’s best to wait.

Brushing your teeth an hour after eating applies to brushing before bedtime, too. If you’ve gotten a late-night snack, try to wait an hour before brushing your teeth and turning in for the night. This practice tends to be better for your digestion, weight management, and your tooth enamel health.

How Long Does a Toothbrush Last with Twice Daily Toothbrushing?

You should change your toothbrush – or your toothbrush head if you have an electric toothbrush with replaceable heads – every 3-4 months or about 4 times per year. If your toothbrush bristles get frayed before then, that can be a sign you’re applying too much pressure when you brush.

Remember, multiple studies have shown that electric toothbrushes do a better job removing plaque than manual. Try one of these Spinbrush™ toothbrushes to level up your twice per day oral care routine.