Should You Brush Your Teeth Right after You Eat?

Everybody knows that one of the most effective ways to prevent cavities is to brush for two minutes twice a day. People often think that they can prevent cavities if they brush immediately after eating. While that may be helpful in some cases, in other instances it can actually do more harm than good and it is better to wait a while.

When You Should Brush Right after Eating

Foods that contain sugar and carbohydrates cause bacteria in the mouth to attack the enamel on teeth for 20 minutes or more after eating. If you eat foods with sugar or carbohydrates and then brush immediately, you can remove the bacteria and prevent them from attacking your tooth enamel, which can reduce your risk of getting cavities.

When You Should Wait to Brush

This advice does not apply after eating acidic foods or drinking acidic beverages. Foods such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons and beverages such as soda contain acid that can weaken tooth enamel. If you brush immediately after consuming these foods or beverages, you will be brushing your teeth when the enamel is weakened, which can cause damage. It is better to wait at least 30 minutes after consuming acidic foods or beverages before you brush your teeth.

Some dentists recommend brushing your teeth before you eat a food that is acidic. After you finish eating, drink a glass of water to wash away the acid. If you can’t brush your teeth in 30 minutes, you can eat nutritious foods that do not contain sugar or carbohydrates after you eat acidic foods. This will reduce the amount of acid in your mouth that can attack your tooth enamel.

Prolonged exposure to the acid in soft drinks can erode hard tissues on the surface of your teeth. Long-term acid erosion can cause permanent damage to your teeth. You can prevent this by reducing your consumption of acidic beverages such as soda and limiting the amount of snacking you do between meals.

Brush Your Teeth with a Toothpaste That Contains Fluoride

You should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste that has been approved by the American Dental Association. This will remove food particles, bacteria, and acid and help protect your teeth from cavities.

Make an Appointment for an Exam and Cleaning at Fried Dentistry

You should also visit your dentist for exams and cleanings on a regular basis. If you are due for an exam and cleaning, schedule an appointment at Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut. We will remove plaque from your teeth and check for any signs of decay so it can be treated before it gets worse. We can also give you tips on how to reduce your risk of getting cavities in the future. Contact Fried Dentistry today to schedule your appointment.