When to Brush for Stronger Teeth

Common sense would tell you that brushing your teeth after eating breakfast is good, because you clean off all the gunk from your meal, right? Sometimes, though the opposite is true: You’re better off brushing beforehand, or waiting 30 minutes after you eat. Here’s why.

This week’s tip isn’t a tip from a reader, but more a tip inspired by readers. Yesterday, we shared why toothpaste makes everything taste bad, and noted in passing that some dentists recommend brushing before breakfast. Many of you were shocked to hear this, so we decided to dig up some more detailed information and put it in its own post for all to see.

The Mayo Clinic notes that brushing your teeth after you eat is good for all the reasons you’d think: you clean out the bacteria from the food you just ate. If you eat or drink something sugary or acidic, though—like the fruits, juices, and other breakfast foods many of us eat in the morning—you might want to brush before:

One caveat to brushing after you eat is if you’ve eaten an acidic food or drink – for example, orange juice. Avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes after acidic foods and beverages. These acids weaken tooth enamel, and brushing too soon can cause damage to the enamel. If you know you’re going to eat or drink something very acidic ahead of time, you may want to brush your teeth first.

Alternatively, says Dr. Scott Frey of Freysmiles, you can wait 30 minutes after you eat or re-balance your oral pH right away with an alkaline mouth rinse.

In the end, it depends a little on what you eat, so take stock of what you’re eating for breakfast and judge when you should brushed based on its sugar content. Check out both articles below for more of the science behind why this happens, as well as this one from RDH for a few studies on the subject.

source: lifehacker website

For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.

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