Should You Brush Your Teeth Directly After You Eat?

brushing teeth tips

Many of us grew up listening to our parents reminding us to brush our teeth after each meal. It seems logical to brush away all the food particles that become trapped in our mouth; however, many dentists disagree. Dentists argue that brushing teeth after every meal might actually do more harm than good. Before continuing your normal routine, let’s find out when the best time to brush your teeth is.

Tooth enamel protects our teeth against the foods that we eat; therefore, it is important to take steps in keeping it safe and protected. Brushing, flossing, and maintaining a healthy diet can all help keep enamel stay in top shape, but, despite what we might have thought, dentists say that—in some cases—it is harmful to brush teeth after eating.

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On an informational website, How Stuff Works, Dr. Douglas Rolfe, a dentist in Boca Raton, Florida, explains that “If you eat sugary or acidic foods or drinks, the enamel on your teeth will be softened. Therefore, brushing right after you eat may not be wise.” Foods like candy, soda, and wine weaken enamel which makes it vulnerable to break down over time. These foods put our mouth in danger and The Huffington Post points out that “the perfect pH for the mouth is seven, and when you consume something acidic, the pH drops.” When we consume food and drinks that effect the pH of our mouths, our enamel becomes vulnerable. Despite what we may have thought, The Huffington Post explains that “when it comes to brushing your teeth when the mouth is in an acidic state, it actually exacerbates the problem.” Additionally, Rolfe explains that “The damaging food or drink will soften the teeth surface so, if you brush right away, you will actually abrade a lot of tooth structure in the process.”

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While the toothpaste brand Colgate explains on their website, Colgate, that “It is recommended you avoid brushing for at least 60 minutes after eating or drinking acidic foods or drinks,” in order to prevent wearing down the enamel, sometimes you are in a rush and need to freshen up your mouth.  Dr. Jeremy Rosenberg, a dentist in Atlanta, Georgia, “explains that chewing sugarless gum always helps […] because it stimulates saliva production, which helps to neutralize acids and fight bacteria in your mouth,” How Stuff Works states. If you don’t like to chew gum, Dentist Jeffrey M. Cole, former president of the Academy of General Dentistry, a dental advocacy group, states on The Huffington Post that eating cheese “reduces the pH of bacterial plaque [and] chewy things encourage salivation, and proteins in your saliva will buffer acids [which will] ‘encourage the tooth to remineralize.’” The next time you eat a meal, consider chewing gum or eating a slice of cheese instead of reaching for your toothbrush. Your enamel will thank you!

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Verdict: False. Brushing your teeth after every meal is not always the best choice. Dr. Douglas Rolfe suggests to “rinse with water after eating, but wait for about 20 minutes before brushing,” as stated on How Stuff Works. Additionally he states that “if you just had an acidic or sugary snack, you should gargle with a fluoride mouthwash,” instead of brushing, How Stuff Works further explains. Talk to your dentist about the most effective ways to keep your mouth healthy.

Brushing or flossing teeth regularly are not the only effective ways to keep your teeth’s health safe. Visiting your cosmetic dentist periodically might be the right steps. If you are from Ohio and trying to find a Cincinnati dentist in town then keep faith in Anderson dental care.

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