Brush up at the office

Brushing on the job reduces bacteria

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

Over three-fourths of Americans eat two or more times per day at work, but only 14% brush during work hours, according to a study by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and Oral-B Laboratories. And, since most people spend a third of each weekday in the office, these lapses in oral care can really add up.

“Meals, snacks and sugary beverages during the day contribute to a lot of plaque and can increase the chance of tooth decay and gum disease,” said Dr. Kevin Sheu, DDS, director of professional services for Delta Dental. “Brushing on the job definitely reduces bacteria.”

Here are some tips for brushing at work:

  • Keep a toothbrush at your desk. The AGD/Oral-B study found that leaving a toothbrush at the office increases the likelihood of brushing by 65%.
  • Brush immediately after lunch – before checking emails, starting work or attending meetings.
  • Dry your toothbrush after each use and store it in a travel container.
  • Replace your office toothbrush more often than your toothbrush at home to avoid bacteria buildup.

Need another reason for a post-lunch brush? Bad breath is one of the least attractive traits among co-workers, the study found.

Last updated: June 2016
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