Timing is everything.

Whether you’re finding the right job, connecting with that special someone, or even having financial success, it is key to get the timing just right. The most important timing to get correct, though, is when to brush your teeth.  When you brush and how to brush, and how long to brush all important aspects of maintaining good oral hygiene.


First and foremost, we will discuss the importance of brushing after, not before, you eat. A great majority of the population knows to brush at least twice a day, morning and night. Unfortunately what may have been lost in translation is exactly when you brush your teeth.  In a world that grows busier by the day many people wake up, brush their teeth, and get Starbucks on the way to work.   This is problematic because, although they have technically brushed their teeth in the morning, the double-shot-mocha-latte-pumpkin-spice-bee pollen infused-caramelized-unicorn-sprinkled-grande-venti which they “couldn’t live without” and had to snapgram a duckface picture of their name on a cup while driving, that sugar is sitting on their teeth all day long.

While I am never going to tell anyone not to brush their teeth in the morning, it is best to brush your teeth after you eat and not before.  Essentially everything we eat is broken down into simple sugars that bacteria, which live in our mouth, will consume.  The byproduct of that consumption is acid and that acid is what causes tooth decay.  It is very true that the more sugar something has the more decay will occur; however, even a minute amount of sugar can cause harm if we don’t remove it through brushing. You guessed it, the longer the bacteria is able to eat the simple sugars the more decay that will result.

Here it comes………..

“They say you aren’t supposed to brush right after you eat, is that true?”


and no.

It is not recommended to brush immediately after you eat because as we all know after we eat something like Cheetos or chocolate it sticks around for a minute or two.  You want to give your saliva a little time to dissolve the larger, visibly evident food particles so that when you brush you are removing the smaller, almost invisible sugars from your teeth.  I heard this analogy one time and thought it was something that explained the situation well.

Being one of four boys and providing my parents with free slave labor during my childhood I can’t relate, but you know when your parents told you to pick up your room because the cleaning lady was coming and you thought, “Why am I cleaning if the cleaning lady is coming?”  Well, if you pick up the clothes off the floor then the cleaning lady can come in behind you and vacuum.  Let’s imagine allowing five minutes for your saliva to remove the bigger food particles is like you picking up the clothes and brushing is like the vacuuming that is done afterward.  You could still vacuum with clothes on the floor but we all know that doesn’t work all that well.  So it is best to give between five and ten minutes after eating to brush, but if you can only wait one to two minutes, that is much better than not brushing at all.




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