You probably think that you are doing your mouth a favor if you always brush your teeth right after eating. This is mainly because the habit of brushing itself can clean the teeth, remove food debris and leftovers, and keep your breath smelling fresh. There is no doubt about the benefits of tooth brushing, but you also have to do it at the right time to avoid doing more harm than good.
Yes. There is a right time to brush your teeth, and contrary to what most people believe, it is not every after every meal. In fact, you could be doing more harm if you do that. Here are some facts you need to take note of:
Avoid Damage to Your Teeth
Dentists suggest that you can choose to brush your teeth first thing in the morning and wait for at least 30 minutes before eating. You can also start eating first and wait for at least 30 minutes afterward before brushing. This is especially true if you consume something sugary and acidic like citrus fruits, juice, and others.
ORA Dental and other Fort Worth dental care centers noted that brushing too soon or eating right after brushing can weaken your tooth enamel and damage your teeth. That is because the acid in the food you just ate has already eroded the enamel and the layer below it (dentin). If you do not wait for your teeth to recover, you could be brushing each of your tooth in their weakened state.
Why You Need to Wait
What is the best time to brush, before or after? The answer: Both are fine, brushing your teeth ahead of time is better than doing so directly after eating.
It is also a best to wait at least 30 minutes before reaching for your toothbrush to give your mouth enough time to rebalance its pH level. As you wait, you can drink and rinse your mouth with water to wash away all the sugars and acid in your teeth. It is better, however, to consume nutritious foods that are low in carbs, sugar, and acid.
The Effects on Acid on Your Teeth
You should know that the prolonged exposure (of your teeth) to acid could soften and erode your tooth enamel. Acid is mostly found in citrus fruits, pickled veggies, sodas, and carbonated beverages. Enamel erosion can weaken your teeth, as well as make them sensitive and appear yellowish. Of course, you wouldn’t want that. These few factors alone only makes it important to limit your overall consumption of acidic and sugary foods and beverages.
Brushing does wonders for your teeth, but it is best to always do it at the right time. You should also floss once daily and drink plenty of water throughout the day. You should, furthermore, make sure to replace your toothbrush after three to four months or sooner (if possible) if the bristles are worn out. Most importantly, visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular checkups and dental cleanings.