Brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day is essential for good dental health. Chances are, you remind your child to brush daily — and your own dentist may even tell you to brush more often. Surprisingly, this does not mean brushing your teeth is always the right choice. There are a few specific times when you should avoid or delay brushing. Here’s a look.
1. Immediately After Eating
Maybe you were told as child not to go swimming for at least 30 minutes after you ate. It turns out, this rule is a myth… but there’s another 30-minute rule that you really should adhere to. Wait 30 minutes between eating and brushing. Brushing right after a snack or meal will only brush the acid from the food onto your teeth, leading to weakened enamel. While you’re waiting for your 30 minutes, take a drink of water to help neutralize the PH levels in your mouth and rinse sugars off your teeth.
2. After Vomiting
After vomiting, you may have an urge to brush your teeth and get that awful taste out of your mouth. DON’T! Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. Vomit contains stomach acid, and if you brush right after, you’re brushing your teeth with acid — which is terrible for your enamel. While the clock is ticking down, rinse your mouth with plain water, suck on a sugar-free breath mint, or eat something bland to get the taste of out your mouth. After the sickness has left your body, don’t forget to replace your toothbrush!
3. In The Shower (When You’re Brushing Your Teeth in a Rush)
Some mornings, you have more time than others. Multi-tasking is a way of life, especially when you are a parent. However, there is a time and place to brush your teeth — and that place is not in the shower. When you’re rushing in the shower, that means you’re rushing to brush, and you will likely cut the recommended two-minute brushing time in half. In addition, your shower head is home to thousands of microbes, which can enter your mouth right along with your toothbrush. Your best bet is to brush in front of your mirror, solely focusing on keeping those pearly whites clean!
4. On The Toilet
Fun fact: Your mouth and toilet are super similar as they both contain billions of germs. It sounds gross, but it’s true. Please don’t brush your teeth while on the toilet. It is a great place for scrolling through Facebook and reading up on current events, but it’s not ideal for keeping good oral hygiene. Bacteria from the toilet can become airborne and get into your mouth, which could lead to serious illness.
5. With Someone Else
Sure, you can stand next to someone as you brush — but do not share a toothbrush! There are a number of reasons why this is a bad idea, including the following:
- You can spread a bloodborne illness if your gums bleed while you brush.
- You can share bad bacteria, such as MRSA, lactobacillus, and Pseudomonas (germs that cause pneumonia).
- You will come into contact with whatever that person ate the night before, especially if they don’t clean or rinse their brush correctly.
Hopefully, you will give these examples some thought and get back to brushing with no distractions. Brushing your teeth twice a day will help prevent cavities, but you must make sure you’re brushing properly to enjoy these benefits.