Many people believe that the best way to protect their teeth is to brush immediately after a meal. While it is true that brushing after you eat will help to rid your teeth of food particles and bacteria, the important takeaway is exactly when you do that brushing.
If you brush immediately after you finish eating, you could actually cause your teeth some damage.
Wait 30 Minutes after Eating Before You Brush
The general rule for brushing after you eat is to wait 30 minutes. This is because whenever you eat something, your mouth will be full of sugar that feeds the already present bacteria. This process creates acids that cause the pH of your mouth to drop to a much lower level than normal.
During this acidic state, it isn't good to brush your teeth, as you can scrub away at the enamel, which is already softened due to the acids.
Instead, wait about a half an hour before you brush. This is the amount of time it usually takes for the pH level of your mouth to balance back to normal. People with healthy mouths shouldn't need any help getting back to this balanced state - the saliva should take care of it on its own.
Cleaning Your Teeth in the Meantime
In the meantime, if you are worried about your teeth, there are a few things you can do to clean them up. Sipping on water is an excellent option, as it will flush away the acids, bacteria, and excess food particles that stuck around in your mouth. Chewing sugar free gum can also help to activate the saliva, putting it to work to re-establish an oral pH level that is safe for brushing.
Do you have questions about how to care for your teeth? Contact us today to set up your next dental screening.