Everyone wants healthy teeth, and brushing is a crucial step in achieving this goal. However, when developing healthy brushing habits, timing is just as important as technique. But brushing just after eating certain meals can damage your teeth.
Enamel is a rigid material that covers the outside of your teeth. It is the strongest material in the human body, even more potent than your bones! Its only vulnerability is that acids in our food can easily break down enamel.
A healthy tooth lives in a mouth with a balanced ph. Demineralization, a damaging process, starts when that balance shifts from alkaline to acidic. Demineralization occurs when acids damage and soften the tooth surface. As pores and fissures form, dangerous bacteria enter.
The pH of our mouth changes with each bite of food or drink we consume. Extremely acidic meals shift your mouth’s pH balance from alkaline to acidic. Citrus fruits, soda, and sugary meals are all acid sources. Yet, these are the most typical. There are undoubtedly many others.
But How Does this Process Worsen By Brushing Your Teeth After Eating?
Your teeth are vulnerable to damage after eating very acidic meals. When you clean your teeth in this weakened state, you cause enamel damage. In addition, the teeth’s protective layer is also worn away by the brush’s abrasive bristles.
Therefore, it would help if you postponed brushing for at least an hour after eating or took other basic preventative measures.
Does this Imply that It's Best to Skip Brushing Right After Eating?
Cleaning your teeth after every meal is a good idea since you wait half an hour to use a brush and avoid intense or aggressive brushing.
It would help if you let your saliva destroy the bacteria during this half-hour period by using its bacterial enzymes. So that undetectable food debris in the teeth is removed by saliva.
Instead of brushing your teeth after meals, you should practice the following preventative measures:
- Drinking water or rinsing
- Using sugar-free gum
- Finishing your meal with dairy or non-acidic items
By increasing saliva production, these habits assist in maintaining a healthy pH level in the mouth and coat the teeth with the minerals they require.
How Can Enamel Erosion Be Prevented?
- The first step in preventing enamel erosion is to keep the time gap between eating and brushing your teeth, as mentioned before. After eating, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.
- Watch what you eat. For example, avoid brushing your teeth right after consuming acidic meals and drinks like grapefruit or orange juice since this might erode the enamel on your teeth.
- Steer clear of frequent snacking, which can lead to stickier deposits on teeth.
- Your dentist can teach you the proper brushing techniques. Don’t give your mouth a quick scrub in the morning or a hasty brushing before bed.
- Keep in mind to switch up your toothbrush every two to three months or sooner if you notice the bristles are crooked.
- Go to the dentist for checkups regularly.
- Drink enough water throughout the day.
Can I Wait till Right Before Bed to Brush?
Yes, indeed! The most crucial thing is to brush before bed and after your last meal. Without brushing your teeth before bed, plaque can accumulate, damage tooth enamel, irritate the gums, and harden on, between, and at the gum line of your teeth. Therefore, whether you choose to brush just before bed or an hour after dinner, brushing efficiently at the gum line and on all teeth surfaces is crucial.