Dental Tips Blog


Tooth Brushing Dilemma: Should You Brush Before or After Breakfast?

If you want to ruin any party, just suggest a debate about the right time to brush your teeth in the morning.

Is it better to brush before or after breakfast?

Benefits of Brushing Before Breakfast 

Some people will argue that everyone should brush right after waking up. This is a courtesy to others around them since brushing will freshen up their breath and spare their neighbors from gagging on the fumes of morning halitosis.

There is a more serious reason for brushing immediately in the morning. The germs in your mouth build up overnight and collect in a sticky film called plaque. Your teeth are coated in this acidic and potentially cavity-causing buildup for several hours while your mouth stops producing a cleansing flow of saliva. The sooner you get that icky stuff off your teeth, the better!

Brushing After Breakfast – The Catch 

For those who don’t want the taste of toothpaste ruining their morning glass of orange juice, they may prefer to brush their teeth after breakfast.

The only problem here is that brushing immediately after eating can be destructive to tooth enamel. All those acids and sugars from your meal don’t just magically go away when you brush. Instead, you’ll end up spreading them around even more.

If you want to brush your teeth after breakfast, then at least wait a half hour before doing so. This will give your saliva a chance to neutralize the acids and flush them away.

So, the next time someone asks you about the brushing before or after breakfast debate, you can confidently say that either option is fine. Get more oral hygiene tips from your dentist or dental hygienist at your next routine dental cleaning and checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill,  South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055


5 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Smile White

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Whitening your teeth is just the first step. After your teeth are bleached to that perfect shade of white, you need to put some effort into maintaining them.

Here are five of the best ways to keep your smile brilliant.

Avoid Dark Drinks

Wine, tea, coffee, cola, sports drinks, and energy drinks are the primary stain culprits. Stay away from these, and you’ll be rewarded with a white smile. You’ll also want to be careful of dark foods like berries, curry, and tomato sauce.

Don’t Smoke

Tobacco use is a surefire way to bring your tooth color back to square one. If you don’t like the idea of whitening your teeth every year, then cutting back on smoking will help you maintain the progress made.

Brush Often

The longer you let plaque sit on your teeth, the more it will stain! Make it a habit to brush 2-3 times a day with a soft toothbrush and a toothpaste with mild abrasive ingredients to buff away new stain. Wait a half hour after eating so that you don’t spread around food acids while brushing.

Use a Whitening Rinse

Avoid mouthwashes that contain cetylpyridinium chloride, a notorious staining ingredient. Look instead for ones with a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide will help lift surface stain to maintain smile brightness.

Strengthen Your Enamel

Weakened enamel gets sensitive and porous and traps stain from food and plaque. If you keep your enamel strong and healthy, your teeth will look whiter. Use enamel-reinforcing toothpastes that contain ingredients like:

  • Fluoride
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Calcium
  • Potassium nitrate

Visit your dentist to find out what else you can do to maintain a beautiful white smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050


Is It a Good Idea to Brush Your Teeth Right After Eating?

A lot of people enjoy freshening up their smiles after lunch. Dentists recommend brushing at least two, if not, more times per day to help prevent cavities and tooth decay which can lead to the need for dental fillings, dental crowns and other tooth restorations. But you could be in a dangerous habit if you aren’t timing your brushing sessions correctly.

Germs, Germs . . .

Your mouth is loaded with all kinds of bacteria, good and bad. The bad germs feed on the foods you eat with sugar being their all-time favorite. The simpler the sugar, the better. So they really go to town on sweet drinks, desserts, and candy. These bacteria then produce high levels of an acidic waste product, especially when they’re actively converting sugar to fuel.

An Acidic Situation

Speaking of acid, your food itself probably contains more acid than you’re aware of. Sugar, fruits, tomatoes, and vinegar are acidic, and carbohydrates break down into more acidic sugars.

All of this acid activity means that the pH levels of your mouth drop into a dangerously low acid zone for some time after each meal.

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body but acids can erode enamel. Acid-producing germs in particular are responsible for wearing down enamel to the point of cavity formation.

When Should You Brush?

Brushing after meals is great for removing debris and odors and for reducing the amount of harmful bacterial. However, most dental experts urge caution and recommend waiting a half hour before brushing. This allows your body’s naturally-basic saliva to neutralize acids. Otherwise, brushing could just serve to spread acids around to other teeth. It also helps to rinse with water before you brush.

Shore up your enamel against acid attacks by getting plenty of fluoride. Your dentist has plenty of tips for protecting your teeth.

Posted on behalf of:
Atencio Family Dentistry
3773 Baker Ln #3
Reno, NV 89509
(775) 829-8684


Should You Brush with Baking Soda?

Posted in Fillings

It’s an age-old remedy for many common health ailments. It’s a vital ingredient in many baked goods. It helps remove stains in laundry and is a chemical-free household cleaning agent. It deodorizes refrigerators and cupboards.

What is it? Baking soda.

This cheap and simple product can be a handy helper in your home. You may also know it as a popular toothpaste substitute.

This begs the question, however: is it safe to brush with baking soda instead of toothpaste?

Why Use Baking Soda?

Daily brushing is important to help reduce or prevent tooth decay and avoid the need for fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations.  Baking soda can be a cost-effective and quick way to get your teeth scrubbed up.

People choose this alternative toothpaste mainly because it’s gritty enough to polish out some stains on enamel. Baking soda can help remove some plaque and debris and its basic nature allows it to neutralize acids in the mouth. These acids are responsible for triggering tooth decay.

What’s Not So Great About Baking Soda?

Despite its benefits, baking soda also has a few downsides:

  • Messy
  • Salty (not recommended if you need to reduce your sodium intake)
  • Can be abrasive to enamel (causing it to wear away!)
  • Could irritate your gums

Perhaps the worst part about baking soda is not what it does, but what it doesn’t do.

Most toothpastes have some kind of detergent to help gently loosen plaque from the teeth. That’s what creates all the foam when you brush. Some toothpastes even have agents that prevent bacteria from growing back.

Most importantly, other toothpastes generally have fluoride. This vitamin is essential for strong teeth, but it’s not found in baking soda, by itself.

Ask your dentist whether using baking soda to regularly brush your teeth is good for your smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Dona W. Prince, DDS
4220 Sergeant Rd #100
Sioux City, IA 51106
(712) 274-2228


4 Signs You Could Be Brushing Incorrectly

Yes, the way you brush does matter! This isn’t just one of your dental hygienist’s pet-peeves. It’s something that has a big impact on your smile.

Here are four of the most common signs that something about your brushing technique just isn’t working for you.

  1. Abrasion to Your Teeth

Signs of horizontal wear on the tooth enamel usually indicate that someone has a heavy hand while brushing. Stiff scrub-brushing will erode enamel with time.

  1. Gum Recession

It’s not just your teeth that can suffer from aggressive brushing. Gums will probably respond sooner to the irritation by receding away from the teeth.

  1. Plaque and Tartar Buildup

Are you sick of that constant tartar growth on your lower front teeth?

Brushing there a little longer each day with the toothbrush properly angled could help you slow down the development of that unsightly, odorous buildup.

  1. Splayed Toothbrush Bristles

It’s normal for the bristles on a brush to wear down over time. They get bent and splayed and that usually means it’s time for a fresh toothbrush.

But if your brush bristles are splayed within just a couple of weeks, then that’s another sign that you’re brushing way too hard. You should be getting more mileage out of your brush than that!

What Can You Do?

Try out different kinds of toothbrushes. A powered toothbrush could even help ensure that you’re brushing with the right amount of pressure for the right amount of time.

Practice brushing during your dental checkup and cleaning. At your next dental visit, show your hygienist how you are brushing and you’ll get some valuable feedback.

Posted on behalf of:
Avalon Dental Group P.C.
2205 Williams Trace Blvd #108
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 240-5559


Replace Your Toothbrush – Why and When

We’ve heard that we should be replacing our toothbrushes on a regular basis. Are you doing it regularly enough, though?

It’s true that your toothbrush is your own business. But there are good reasons why you should keep it fresh!

Keep the Germ Count Down

Change out your toothbrush after a bout of sickness. Some bacteria and viruses can stick around on the damp bristles of a toothbrush and potentially reinfect you. This is particularly true in the case of cold sores.

Think, too, about where you keep your toothbrush.

Most folks keep their toothbrushes in the bathroom. When the toilet flushes, bacteria and debris are suspended in the tiny droplets that are released. These droplets can land on any object within reach – including (eek!) your toothbrush!

Replacing your toothbrush from time to time will help you keep all those nasty germs from accumulating on your brush…and setting up camp in your mouth.

Keep Your Brushing Effective

The bristles on a toothbrush are designed to gently slip just below the gum line around teeth. This helps dislodge bacteria that hide underneath. Each of the bristles also helps scrub away stain and food buildup while loosening debris that gets stuck in the grooves of teeth.

When these bristles splay, you no longer have that original scrubbing power. Instead of loosening plaque, the flattened bristles will just kind of push it around. You won’t be able to keep the gum lines as clean.

Keep your smile healthy and beautiful by replacing your toothbrush, ideally, every 3-4 months.

Monitor your brush after a few months of use for signs of the bristles splaying. Talk with your hygienist at your local dental office to learn more.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. C Family Dentistry
13514 E 32nd Ave
Spokane Valley, WA 99216
(509) 591-9317

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…