best time to brush teeth

The Best Times of Day to Brush Your Teeth

Everyone knows that they need to brush their teeth at least twice a day, but when to brush teeth? What are the benefits of brushing at night vs. brushing in the morning? At Sunrise Dental in Glendale, we encourage our patients to brush before breakfast, before bedtime, and after enjoying sugary drinks or snacks. Here are some of the reasons why brushing at these times of day are most beneficial.

Brushing Teeth at Night vs. Morning

The best times to brush teeth in the morning is when you first wake up. Bacteria can build up overnight, leaving a bad taste in your mouth and film on your teeth. Brushing first thing in the morning will get rid of bacteria and jump start your saliva production for the day. Saliva protects your teeth and gums by washing away food debris and fighting bacteria. If you brush with a fluoride toothpaste, you’ll also be giving your teeth a protective coating before your first meal.

Brushing your teeth before breakfast rather than afterward could have added benefits depending on what you typically eat or drink. Brushing your teeth after an acidic meal may do more harm than good. Acids weaken tooth enamel, and many breakfast foods—coffee, juice, citrus, toast—are very acidic. If you brush your teeth too soon after an acidic meal or beverage, you might unintentionally damage your tooth enamel. 

The best time to brush teeth at night is when you’re getting ready for bed. Your mouth produces less saliva at night, so brushing before bed will help remove the cavity-causing bacteria that saliva usually washes away. Except for water, don’t eat or drink anything between brushing your teeth at night and going to sleep. Flossing before bed will remove food particles that will feed bacteria while you sleep. Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash will add extra protection overnight.

The best time to brush your teeth during the day is after a sugary drink or snack. Cavity-causing bacteria love to eat sugar. Brushing after enjoying sweets will prevent plaque from forming. Plaque takes at least 12 hours to build up, which is why the American Dental Association recommends brushing for a minimum of two minutes twice daily. However, new studies show that brushing more than twice a day can prevent periodontitis. Any time during the day that you notice a bad taste in your mouth is a good time to brush your teeth. When is the best time to brush your teeth?” asked the dentist during the dental check-up.

Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Health

  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily with a soft toothbrush—we prefer electric brushes. Brush for a minimum of two minutes.
  • Don’t forget to brush behind your back molars and along the gumline—those are some of plaque’s favorite hiding spots.
  • Use dental floss at least once every day before you go to bed. A water flosser is even better!
  • Use mouthwash after brushing. Mouthwash can catch bacteria hiding in any part of your mouth. Rinsing with mouthwash also stimulates saliva production.
  • Replace your toothbrush about once every three months, or as soon as the bristles begin to splay.
  • Keep a toothbrush and dental floss in your desk or locker at work for mid-day brushing. Your coworkers will appreciate your fresh breath!
  • If you have trouble remembering to brush your teeth, try setting a reminder on your phone or posting a note on the bathroom mirror. Establish a daily routine and in no time at all you’ll be forming better brushing habits.
  • Schedule regular appointments at Sunrise Dental. Checkups and cleanings help prevent cavities and gum disease. We will keep you smiling!

Products We Recommend

At Sunrise Dental, we can help guide you towards the best toothpaste, mouthwash, or other oral health care product that will best support your home care routine. We recommend the Braun Oral B. electric toothbrush. In our opinion, it is the most effective electric toothbrush because the brush head has an oscillating and an ultrasonic movement. It has specialized brush heads that specifically target areas where plaque tends to form. We also highly recommend a Waterpik or other type of water flosser, as they are very effective at flushing out bacteria and their toxins from below the gumline.

Contact Us

Our friendly dentists Dr. Timothy Mettler, Dr. Victoria Griego, and Dr. Andrew Mikhail are committed to providing the highest level of dental care. Dr. Metter and Dr. Griego have proudly served Peoria, Arizona and the surrounding communities of Surprise, Phoenix, and Glendale for over 30 years. Contact us today to learn more about our dental services and to schedule your visit with our talented and attentive team. We look forward to giving you a reason to smile!


Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash