The Best Time to Brush Your Teeth in the Morning, According to Dentists


There are two kinds of brushers: those who brush their teeth before breakfast, and those who brush them after. But which one is the right way to keep you healthy?

Lifehacker's Burning Questions recently interviewed two dentists on when the right time to brush, floss, and use mouthwash is, finding that the rules for oral hygiene aren't as hard and fast as you might think. (At least, not if you're brushing and flossing regularly to begin with.) According to Lifehacker, if you're asking questions about how best to brush your teeth at all, your dentist probably isn't too worried about you.

As it turns out, it probably doesn't matter whether you brush before or after breakfast. Your teeth will get clean either way. There is, however, a caveat that applies to after-breakfast brushers—if your meal contains orange juice or anything acidic (coffee is fine), dentists recommend waiting 30 minutes after your meal to pick up the toothbrush. Because the acid in food interacts with the enamel on your teeth, you can do microscopic damage to the enamel if you brush right away.

If you're an after-breakfast brusher who is just now hearing about the 30-minute rule, don't panic. While it's a good idea, it's not that big of a deal, according to some dental professionals, like the Kansas-based dentist Grant Richey. As he told Lifehacker, he would never look at a patient with worn-away enamel and say, "Oh, if you just would have waited 30 minutes after drinking that orange juice this wouldn’t have happened."

And as for flossing? In 2016, a bombshell article by the Associated Press reported that scientific studies have yet to prove that flossing is good for you—but that doesn't mean you should skip it. According to organizations like the American Dental Association, the lack of flossing-friendly data may be due to the difficulty of studying it long-term, rather than it not being valuable. Dentists argue that flossing is such a low-cost, low-risk activity that it's worth it to keep doing it twice a day. When in your morning routine you should do it, though, is still an open question.

Basically, there's no real consensus on whether to floss before or after you've brushed. The important thing is that you floss at all, according to dentists like Mark Burhenne, whose website, Ask the Dentist, recommends "you stick with whatever works for you" when it comes to the timing of your flossing.

“Look, as long as you are brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and flossing or using another interdental cleaner twice a day, you’re good to go,” Alice Boghosian, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association, told Lifehacker. “God bless people if they feel comfortable flossing after they brush, as long as they’re cleaning between their teeth once a day.”

As for mouthwash, it's not totally necessary to maintain oral health, as Boghosian said. It's more for making your breath smell good. Therefore, it makes sense to do it last so your mouth stays minty fresh as long as possible. Plus, it can help remove plaque on those days when you forget to floss.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Scotland Could Become the First Country to Provide Universal Period Products to Citizens

emapoket, iStock via Getty Images
emapoket, iStock via Getty Images

Fears over where to find—and how to afford—sanitary products before their next menstrual cycle may no longer be an issue for people in Scotland. Earlier today, as the BBC reports, Members of Scottish Parliament passed the first part of a bill that would make items like pads and tampons free to the public.

The Period Products Bill was first put forth in 2017 to address period poverty, which affects people who are unable to afford essential menstrual hygiene products. Pads, tampons, and some reusable menstrual items are currently available to students in primary schools and universities in the country. The Scottish government has also expanded the program to include additional public places and sports clubs, but this new bill goes even further. If passed, Scotland would become the first country to provide free period products to citizens on a universal scale.

Ministers in the Scottish Parliament were initially concerned about the bill's £24 million ($31 million) annual price tag, but earlier this month, members of all parties in the government came out in support of the legislation. Though the bill passed through the first stage of parliament today, February 25, the BBC wrote that "The government is expected to put forward a raft of amendments to address their 'significant' concerns about the legislation," including the aforementioned cost.

Period poverty is an issue that's felt around the world. In America, many lawmakers are fighting to end the "tampon tax": a sales tax that's added to sanitary products and waived from other hygiene products deemed essential in many states, like dandruff shampoo.

[h/t BBC]

10 Simple Tricks for Charging Your Smartphone Faster

Makidotvn, iStock via Getty Images
Makidotvn, iStock via Getty Images

Smartphones always seem to reach low power at the least convenient moments possible. If you've ever urged your device to charge faster in the minutes before a phone interview or when you're about to board a plane, you can relate. While the easiest way to avoid this scenario is to plug in your device before the battery dips into the danger zone, if you've already reached this point, there are simple ways to speed up the charging process.

Some hacks for charging a phone faster involve steps you can take in anticipation of the next time you're surviving on minimum energy. Certain gadgets, like special chargers and battery packs, will power-up your device more efficiently than others. For moments when your phone is dying and all you have is your regular charging cable, adjusting your phone's settings to minimize the power it consumes also works in a pinch.

You can find some specific ways to charge your phone quickly below: 

  1. Plug it into a wall outlet instead of a USB port.
  1. Use a portable battery pack.
  1. Buy a special "fast" phone charger.
  1. Switch to low power mode.
  1. Switch to airplane mode.
  1. Let your phone drain completely on its own once a month to the extend the battery life.
  1. Close any background apps.
  1. Stop automatic app updates.
  1. Don't check your phone while it's charging
  1. Keep your phone out of the heat.

For more tricks for making your phone usage more efficient, check out these tips for typing faster.