Originally posted by Thorin Klosowski on Lifehacker — It seems pretty straightforward: You brush your teeth in the morning and in the evening, then you’re all set.
It turns out it’s not exactly that simple.
While brushing your teeth at least twice a day is the usual recommendation, how and when you do it isn’t as simple as you’d think.
First off, as we’ve pointed out before, the best time to brush your teeth actually depends on what you’re eating.
In most cases, it’s good to brush your teeth after you eat because that’s the best time to clean away all that sugar or starch that damages your teeth.
However, in some cases—usually with acidic foods like orange juice—it’s actually best to wait a little while before brushing.
Mayo Clinic explains:
One caveat to brushing after you eat is if you’ve eaten an acidic food or drink — for example, orange juice. Avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes after acidic foods and beverages. These acids weaken tooth enamel, and brushing too soon can cause damage to the enamel. If you know you’re going to eat or drink something very acidic ahead of time, you may want to brush your teeth first.
Technique matters here just as much as everything else, and most of us are probably brushing wrong. Dr. Zervas recommends brushing in a circular motion up to the gum line instead of brushing in a vigorous back and forth motion.
This manages to get the bacteria out without rubbing your gums too much. Don’t put too much pressure on your teeth; you need to brush all the way up to gums, but don’t do it too hard.
Finally, the last step many of us take in our tooth-brushing routine is to rinse out our mouths with water. As it turns out, it’s actually a bad idea to rinse with too much water.
The Guardian points out that you’re just washing off the film from the toothpaste:
“For children, I would say wash out because if they still have adult teeth that have yet to come through, they may end up with too much fluoride in their body, which can damage their teeth. For adults, it’s good to leave a film, but in moderation — You don’t want a mouthful of toothpaste. I have a semi-rinse: I put a tiny bit of water in my mouth to brush away the toothpaste on my tongue.”
So, to quickly recap: Brush after eating unless you’re eating acidic foods, brush gently in a circular motion, and don’t rinse your mouth with too much water afterwards. While you’re at it, make sure you pick up the right kind of toothpaste.
To read more from Thorin Klosowski on LifeHacker, please visit the article here: http://lifehacker.com/am-i-brushing-my-teeth-correctly-504856570