What's the best time of day to brush your teeth?

<em>When should you be brushing your teeth? (Picture: Getty)</em>
When should you be brushing your teeth? (Picture: Getty)

That one’s easy right – twice a day, morning and night.

But what if you’re among the fairly large proportion of Brits who actually only brush their teeth once a day? Which time should you choose?

According to YouGov Omnibus research, three in ten Brits don’t brush their teeth the recommended two times a day.

Asked whether they brushed their teeth in the morning, evening, or at any other time, 29% said they only brush their teeth once a day, while one in 50 (2%) said they don’t brush their teeth at all on a typical day.

On top of this, it seems people are more likely to choose to brush their teeth in the morning (87%) than the evening (72%).

And of those who say they only brush their teeth once a day, 70% said they do so in the morning and only 23% clean them in the evening.

So when should you brush your teeth?

According to the NHS, the two brushes a day should always include one before bed, with a second occasion at some other time in the day – not necessarily in the morning.

Speaking on Yahoo UK’s podcast Britain Is A Nation Of..., Treated.com‘s clinical director Dr Daniel Atkinson said that the reason is because it gives time for your toothpaste to work.

Listen to the full episode of Britain is a Nation of… below

“You’ve got a long time after then that you’re not eating,” he said. “So you’ve got a good time when the toothpaste can do some work repairing the enamel.”

<em>Cleaning your teeth at night will make sure your toothpaste has time to do its job, says Dr Atkinson (Picture: Getty)</em>
Cleaning your teeth at night will make sure your toothpaste has time to do its job, says Dr Atkinson (Picture: Getty)

What can happen if you don’t brush your teeth?

With variations between the amount of times, and when, people brush their teeth, are some more at risk than others?

According to Dr Atkinson, general advice suggests that while sugary drinks and sugary foods can pose a risk to your oral health, having them throughout the day rather than on one occasion could be worse – especially if you’re not brushing your teeth.

“If you’re eating lots of sugary drinks and sugary foods, but particularly if you’re doing it frequently through the day, that seems to be the thing that’s worse for your teeth.

“If you’re just having sugary foods with your dinner then it’s not so bad as having sugary drinks two or three times between meals – that’s what seems to be the thing that causes most of the problems.”

Gum disease and tooth decay are the biggest risks if you don’t brush your teeth, he said.

“But there’s also things like bad breath and also, just kind of looking good. I think that’s probably what Britons are famous for in some parts of the world – having bad teeth – and this is perhaps where it’s come from.”

To hear more unpacking of statistics about British people, listen to the full episode above, or download it on Apple Podcasts, Acast, or Spotify to listen while on the go.

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