A study says that around one in five people in the UK don’t brush their teeth before going to work.
Are you one of the 22% of the UK population who don’t clean your teeth in the morning, and if so, why is this?
According to a recent survey, this is more common than we probably think. There may well have been occasions when most of us have done this ourselves, perhaps in a rush to get the kids to school, but this should never become a regular daily habit.
The following are some of the more common reasons that were given by people who fall into this category:
- Ran out of toothpaste
- Too busy watching TV
- Staring at their mobile phone
In addition to this, of course, there is the general rush in the morning, especially if you have a young family to feed and to get to school or nursery.
Get into the habit
Our Ipswich dentists do appreciate that mornings can be difficult. Some of us are simply not morning people and are likely to lie in bed until the last possible moment. The problem when we do this is that, from this point on, everything is a rush and we are likely to forget important things … such as cleaning our teeth!
Missing brushing your teeth once is probably not going to cause any long term harm, but it appears from this study that for some people, this is a regular occurrence. If we skip this part of our morning ritual, there are a number of things that are very likely to happen.
Tooth decay and gum disease
If you fail to brush your teeth regularly, it is very likely that you will suffer from tooth decay, and very probably gum disease as well. Both of these dental problems could result in tooth loss after a while. Is it really worth saving just a couple of minutes in the morning to have this happen to you?
Even if you avoid tooth decay (or at least avoid it for some time), doesn’t it feel unpleasant in your mouth, perhaps a little ‘furred up’? What about those around you, your fellow co-workers, people you speak to on the bus, do you think it is fair that they have to share what is likely to be your smelly breath when you speak or breathe near them?
Cleaning your teeth in the morning really should not be a big issue and iIt should be something that you automatically do as a part of your regular daily routine. It should also be a habit that you get your children into as well, to set them into good habits at an early age.
The morning brushing routine
One question that does sometimes arise is when to brush; before or after breakfast?
This has been a long running debate, but the general consensus amongst dentists at the Foxhall Dental Clinic and elsewhere is that you should really brush before you eat your breakfast or even have your morning cuppa. There are a number of reasons for this.
Firstly, the bacteria in your mouth will accumulate while you sleep. In the morning, therefore, you will have a mouth full of bacteria. Eating first will provide these hungry bacteria with plenty of sugar, enabling them to cause more damage to the enamel on your teeth through the acids that they produce.
In addition to this, as you drink your cup of tea or coffee, you will be flushing away some of the bacteria into your stomach; not a particularly pleasant thought!
If you choose to brush after eating, not only has the above occurred, but, as we have mentioned in other blogs, the enamel on our teeth softens after eating. Brushing at this point speeds up the wear and tear of the protective enamel; so if you absolutely have to brush after eating, do try to leave a minimum of half an hour before doing so.
A common argument used by some patients about brushing before breakfast is that it makes food, and especially orange juice, taste unpleasant. We acknowledge that this is an issue, but in our humble opinion, we would rather adapt to this taste than to compromise our teeth.
Make your daily teeth cleaning regime both regular and effective as possible. It is, after all, the front line defence against dental problems. To get your cleaning up to scratch, we highly recommend that you make an appointment to discuss this with our dental hygienist. They will be able to advise how best to do this and also to show you how to use floss correctly; another important part of your oral health regimen.
Appointments at the Foxhall Dental Clinic can be made by calling our Ipswich practice on 01473 258396.