Do Not Brush Your Teeth Too Soon after a Meal
Brushing after meals is a usually considered to be a good thing for your teeth. It removes the plaque and oral bacteria that erode the enamel on your teeth and inflame your gums. However, brushing immediately after a meal can actually do more harm than good.
When you eat, oral bacteria begin to produce acids. These acids soften the enamel on your teeth. If you brush within twenty minutes of eating, the toothbrush bristles can push the acids deeper into the tooth’s structure, causing more damage and corroding them. This could result in deeper cavities and more severe decay.
A recent study underscored the importance of waiting to brush. During the study, volunteers wore samples of dentin in their mouths. They drank an acidic soft drink, and the dentin was then brushed at different periods. Brushing within twenty minutes of the drink caused noticeable damage, but waiting thirty to sixty minutes to brush seemed to protect teeth from this result.
The next time you eat, wait thirty minutes to an hour before brushing. If you need to freshen up a bit, rinse your mouth with water or chew sugar-free gum. This helps flush any loose debris and dilutes oral acids. After thirty minutes, brush your teeth for a cleaner mouth and fresher breath without any unwanted damage to your enamel. Use a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for the best results.
Call our offices today to learn more or to schedule your next dental cleaning.
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