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Never Brush Immediately Following Acidic Meals or Beverages

Posted on 11/25/2018 by Matt Aldridge DDS
Never Brush Immediately Following Acidic Meals or BeveragesWe recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice daily and preferably following a meal, however, cleaning them immediately after eating can be counterproductive.

Some foods are more damaging to the enamel than others. For example, acidic foods can weaken the enamel, and the act of brushing with an abrasive toothpaste could harm your teeth.

Why Acids Weaken Enamel

Acids are one of the enamel's biggest enemies. They can be found in many of the foods you eat, including citrus and tomatoes, but you can also harm your teeth by eating sugars. Sugars can increase the production of plaque that sticks to your teeth and increases acids that damage the enamel.

When you eat acidic foods, the enamel becomes more susceptible to bacteria and decay. One of the worse things you can do is brush your teeth immediately after drinking orange juice or eating tomatoes. Brushing can have a negative impact on your teeth when you do it right after eating.

Should You Wait to Brush Your Teeth?

Many acidic foods can harm the enamel, which acts as a shield to protect your teeth from decay. We don't recommend brushing your teeth right away. In fact, we suggest waiting at least 20 minutes after eating or drinking to brush.

In the meantime, you could swish your mouth with water or chew on sugarless gum. Water can cleanse the mouth until you can brush. You can do this anytime you eat foods that can impact or stain the enamel to better protect your teeth.

Once bacteria finds a weakness in the enamel, it will get inside of your teeth and cause a cavity. This will make your tooth more susceptible to decay and other dental conditions such as gum disease. Our primary goal is to keep your enamel healthy and strong, so your natural teeth last you for many, many years.
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