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Brush up during the workday

You brush in the morning and before bed, but what about after lunch?

Almost everyone eats during the workday, but few people think to brush their teeth during working hours. And since most people spend a third of each weekday working, these lapses in oral care can really add up.

What’s more, the pandemic is taking its toll on those working remotely when it comes to sticking to a daily dental hygiene routine, according to a recent survey commissioned by the American Association of Endodontists. Among those working from home:

  • 31% were snacking more on sweets
  • One in four said they waited until later in the morning to brush their teeth, while 21% didn't brush in the morning at all
  • 24% said they are flossing less frequently, while 23% said they aren't flossing at all

Whether you’re working remotely or commuting to the office, brushing after meals and snacks should still be an important part of your oral health care routine.

Here are some tips for maintaining oral health during the workday:

1. Brush immediately after lunch

Before heading back to your computer, before checking emails or attending afternoon Zoom meetings, make it a habit to brush your teeth after you eat, no matter how busy things get with work. Even during a pandemic, brushing your teeth is still a necessity.

2. Choose healthy snacks and meals

As the hustle and bustle of the working day kicks in, you may forget all about that sweet breakfast cereal or mid-morning Danish, but sugar is “zooming” right into place regardless. Even if you’re absorbed with work projects and meetings, the sweets you eat can still cause tooth decay and lead to cavities.

Do your teeth a favor and replace sugary sweets with healthier options like nuts, fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese and yogurt. If you want to reward yourself with something sweet (we know you’re crushing it at work!), try dark chocolate. It has less sugar than other snacks and doesn’t stick to the teeth like other sugary candies.

3. Keep a toothbrush at your desk if you’re at the office

Leaving a toothbrush at the office increases the likelihood of brushing. Dry your office toothbrush well and store it in a travel container at your desk or workspace. Replace your brush often to avoid bacteria buildup.

4. Make water or green tea your work beverage of choice

That luscious caramel latte may help pick you up as each day begins, but the sugar can encourage decay. Regularly sipping on sugary drinks or acidic juices can add up to damage to your teeth.

For an alternative morning pick-me-up, try green tea, which has been shown to improve oral health. And next time thirst is getting you down at work, reach for a nice cold glass of water.

Last updated December 21, 2021

The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.