The Proper Time to Brush Your Teeth

BrushWhen you were growing up, you were likely told to brush your teeth at least two times each day.  However, some people recommend brushing after each meal to ensure food particles do not linger on the teeth and gums and lead to cavities.  If you are tempted to brush your teeth at such a high frequency, it is imperative you wait at least 20 minutes to half an hour after eating.

Toothbrushing tips

When it Comes to Brushing Your Teeth, Timing is Everything

The toothbrush itself does not appear to have an impact on tooth enamel.  The brushing process appears to have minimal impact on dentin.  However, if brushing follows the consumption of certain types of food, then the wearing down of tooth enamel and dentin increases. When people consume food or beverages, their particles combine with bacteria in the mouth to secrete acids. Acid waste is problematic for oral health as it wears away at tooth enamel.

Acid takes the surface layer of the teeth apart through a process known as demineralization.  The human body has the ability to remineralize the enamel surface by way of contact with saliva.  However, brushing immediately after an erosive challenge such as the consumption of food leads to the acid components becoming that much more of a threat to the teeth.

You do not have to consume fruit and a soda to have acid on your teeth.  Acid is in the vast majority of meals.  Pay close attention to your mouth the next time you eat.  You might feel a bit of roughness following the consumption of food or drinks that are acidic.  In due time, the surface roughness is remineralized with saliva yet the damage proves that much worse if brushing takes place immediately following the consumption of the food or drinks.

Be Patient After Eating and Drinking

Hold off on cleaning your teeth for a minimum of 20 minutes following eating or drinking.  This will give your teeth some time to deal with the erosive challenge of acids remaining in the mouth following your indulgence.  Give the enamel on your teeth some time to harden back to its normal state after this initial weakening.

After all, the last thing you want to do is brush the sensitive tooth enamel when it is weakest.  In fact, brushing too soon after eating or drinking can even remove enamel from the teeth.

How to Approach Tooth Care Immediately After Eating or Drinking

If you want to do something to clean your mouth following a meal or a snack, swish some water around in your mouth.  You can spit the water back out or swallow it.  Think of this post-meal water bath as a means of removing acid remaining from the leftover beverages and food.

You can also chew sugarless gum with xylitol to clean your teeth in between meals.  Give your teeth about half an hour to recover following the consumption of food or beverages and you will be able to brush them as thoroughly as you like.

Call (817) 210-4049 to schedule an appointment with Trophy Smile Studio in our Trophy Club dental office.

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