Brush your teeth (at night)

We have all heard we need to brush our teeth, but then things became a little confusing: Was it that we need to brush our teeth three times a day? or that we need it to do it right after every meal? If we misunderstood both questions, we could end up brushing our teeth four or five times a day —something no one does.

So I recently took advantage of my last visit to the dentist to ask him.

What did I learn? The first important thing was that you must always brush your teeth at night. Moreover, it is the most important moment to do it.

The reason is simple. During the day, you salivate and, with your saliva, provide your teeth with a cleaning bath of fluids, particularly some antibacterial substances you have in your body. At night, while you sleep, the secretion of saliva decreases, leaving your teeth more exposed to damage and eventually caries (also known as decay or cavities). A clean mouth before going to bed guarantees a better oral health for longer time.

This takes us to the next point: What makes a mouth clean? To have a clean mouth, I can point out the following tips:

First, get yourself a clean toothbrush. That is, one which has been exposed to some fresh air since the last time you used it, one with soft bristles, one with its bristles in place. If your toothbrush is too old, go get another one.

Next, get some toothpaste. Go for one which includes fluorine; be careful with one which includes whiteners, as it is not clear yet whether they the prolonged use can affect teeth negatively.

Next proceed to brush your teeth. Brush all your dental area. Don't do it too fast, take your time. Don't do it to strongly, be reasonable with your mouth. Everybody feels when their teeth are clean. Let your instincts guide you. Anyway, between forty seconds to a minute is usually enough for the usual adult (and there is no need to use a stopwatch to check it).

Lastly, rinse both your mouth and your brush well. If you don't do it properly, you will leave a feast on your brush for bacteria.

As for how many times you should brush your teeth a day, do it at the very least twice. If there is need and chance to do it a third time, take it; but don't forget to brush your teeth at night.

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