What Reason Is there for Waiting to Brush After Each Meal?

What Reason Is there for Waiting to Brush After Each Meal? Posted on 7/10/2019 by Sundberg Office You know how important it is to brush your teeth after eating, so why would anyone suggest that you wait to do so? There are actually a few cases why it's a good idea to wait 30 minutes to an hour before you brush your teeth. If you don't, you may actually damage your teeth more than you help them.

Let Your Mouth Do Its Work

One of the reasons to hold off brushing your teeth is to let your mouth do its work. The saliva in your mouth is naturally designed to wash away bacteria. If you didn't drink water with your meal, you may have some sticky sugars or other debris from your food and beverages caught on your teeth, gums, and tongue. If you're not suffering from dry mouth, the saliva in your mouth will naturally wash away some of this debris. However, if you did eat a meal high in sugars and carbs, you may want to brush fairly quickly after you eat so you get rid of as much bacteria as you can.

Acidic Foods Weaken Your Enamel

However, if you just had some orange juice, ate a grapefruit, or had any other food that is high in citric acid, you should definitely wait about 30 minutes before you brush your teeth. That's because citric acid actually makes the enamel on your teeth soft for a short period of time. If you brush your teeth while the enamel is softened, it can scrape off some of the enamel and leave your teeth permanently weakened. If you know you're going to have citric foods or drink, it actually helps to brush your teeth before you eat so you remove any bacteria that might take advantage of the weakened enamel. Have any other questions about what foods might damage your teeth or when you should or shouldn't brush? Give us a call and we'll provide you with the answers.

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PDX Center for Dentistry

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