How Soon Should You Brush After a Meal?

One of the easiest ways people can prevent tooth decay and gum disease is to brush on a regular basis. Since childhood we’ve all been told that we should brush two to three times a day, after meals or snacks.

While dentists would like to recommend that you brush two to three times a day, taking the time to do a complete thorough cleaning at least once a day is key to keeping the teeth healthy, in additional to regular check-ups with your dentist to determine the overall health of your teeth and mouth, of course.

For those of you who do brush multiple times per day, and feel guilty for not getting to their toothbrush right away, new research shows that it may actually be better to wait a little bit after eating before brushing.

When you brush, you remove plaque from the surface, or enamel, of your teeth. Plaque is bacteria that can cause cavities or gum disease. When you drink sugary drinks, eat fruits or certain carbs, acids form that can attack your teeth. These acids erode enamel and the layer below it, called dentin. The layer of dentin is easier to damage than the outer enamel layer.

The action of brushing presses the bristles of the brush into the surface of the teeth, which may also wind up pushing the acids into the surface of the teeth. You could be causing more harm than good! However, the strength of these acids tend to diminish after about a half an hour or so. Waiting for about that long, just as you would wait to go swimming after eating a meal, is a good idea.

This advice is also good for people who feel the need to brush after an acid reflux attack.

Looking for an easy way to disperse of the acid? Rinse your mouth out with water. Water is a base, which neutralizes acids. It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water each day for general health, both total body and dental.

Timing is important in so many places in our lives. Taking the time to brush properly will ensure that your smile lasts as long as you do!

Don’t forget that smart dental health also requires regular check-ups. To schedule a checkup at any one of our eight convenient Metro Detroit locations, visit today!

Sources for this article include:

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.