Ask the dentist: Should I brush my teeth at the office?

Dr. Gary Vance

| 2 min read

What’s on your check list of office tasks tomorrow? Staff meeting? Client call? Brushing your teeth?
If you’re like the majority, you likely left the last one off your list. But brushing your teeth during the day is important in maintaining good oral health. On average, Americans spend nearly nine hours a day at the office, often consuming more than two meals. You brush your teeth at home twice a day, why not at work?
Brushing at the office can be an easy habit to pick-up and can go a long way in protecting your pearly whites. How can you pick up this habit? Just bring your toothbrush! According to a survey released by the Academy of General Dentistry, keeping an extra toothbrush at the office increases your likelihood of brushing by 65 percent.
Not only can brushing your teeth be easy, it is also a great way to keep your breath fresh and mouth clean while away from home. Try these easy tips to help make brushing a habit at work. Trust me, your teeth and your co-workers will thank you.
  • Post a sticky note on your desk or computer as a reminder to brush your teeth.
  • Store your toothbrush and toothpaste at work in a convenient and handy place.
  • Make brushing your teeth part of your freshening-up routine at work.
When brushing away from home, make an extra effort to keep your toothbrush germ-free. Here are a few ways you can properly care for your toothbrush while at the office:
  • Always store your toothbrush in a travel container.
  • Dry the toothbrush before returning it to its travel container.
  • Change the toothbrush you use at work more often than the one you use at home.
While brushing your teeth during the day is good for overall oral health, remember to wait at least 30 minutes after a meal before reaching for your toothbrush. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, brushing immediately after lunch can cause serious corrosion of dentin, the layer below a tooth’s enamel. This is especially true with acidic food, such as tomato-based soups, salsa, citrus fruit or pizza.
The bottom-line: Yes, you should bring your toothbrush with you to work, but wait at least 30 minutes after consuming food or drink before using it.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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