Effects of Brushing Too Soon after a Meal
Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are essential to good dental hygiene. By practicing good dental hygiene, you can reduce your risk of tooth decay, gum disease and other dental health problems. However, brushing too soon after a snack or meal can actually do more harm than good. Our Northridge dentist explains.
A study that used human dentin samples worn by volunteers revealed that brushing within the first half hour of drinking an acidic beverage tended to demineralize teeth. When you eat or drink, oral bacteria begin to produce more acids that can soften the enamel of your teeth. When you brush immediately after eating, the bristles on your toothbrush can then wear away at your newly softened enamel and push the acid deep inside your teeth where it can erode them even faster than if you had not brushed at all.
If you wait just 30 minutes, your saliva will have an opportunity to neutralize the acid and begin to remineralize your teeth. You can then brush without fear of damaging your teeth. Rinsing your teeth after eating may also be beneficial. When you do brush, use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled nylon toothbrush. Finish by flossing between each set of teeth, which can help remove plaque, bacteria and debris. If you are prone to cavities or gum disease, fluoride or antimicrobial mouth rinses can help strengthen teeth and kill bacteria.
Contact our dental office today to learn more about good dental hygiene habits or to schedule your next checkup.
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