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It should go without saying that you need to brush your teeth if you want a healthy smile. You probably know that without having to talk to our dentist, Dr. Jon Ackerman. At least, you should know that. But when should you brush?

Many of us brush first thing in the morning. We want to have fresh breath to start the day. But, you should brush at least twice a day. While brushing in the morning will give you a clean mouth for work or school you should also brush at night. Food debris, plaque and acids accumulate in your mouth throughout the day. These things will all work together during the night to erode your tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.

It’s fine to brush after every meal. In fact, if you wear braces, you should brush after every meal and snack. However, timing is everything. You should wait at least 30 minutes after you eat before you brush. Many of the foods that you eat and drink contain acids. Your saliva will wash those acids away from your teeth, and 30 minutes gives your saliva enough time to do its job. If you brush before then, you may only succeed in spreading the acid around your mouth, which could do more harm than good. If you experience morning sickness while you are pregnant, or if you find yourself throwing up during a bout of the flu, you should wait for 30 minutes before you brush, since you will spread the acid from your stomach around your mouth. Try rinsing your mouth with a therapeutic mouthwash, or a mixture of baking soda and water right after you are sick, and then brush half an hour later.

If you would like to learn more about good brushing practices, you should call Jon F. Ackerman, DDS in White Plains, New York at (914) 761-2442 and schedule your appointment today.