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How Long After Eating Does It Become Safe to Brush?

Posted on 2/10/2019 by Doctor Schwei
How Long After Eating Does It Become Safe to Brush?After you eat a large, starchy meal, you may be tempted to brush your teeth. Perhaps you think this will help your breath or maybe you believe acting quickly can protect your smile.

In reality, it is best to wait, as brushing too soon after eating can actually damage your teeth. You'll rub acid and bacteria into the enamel, giving them a head-start to do wreak havoc on this protective layer. Instead, wait a bit before you brush.

How Long of a Wait is Long Enough?
The Mayo Clinic recommends that you wait to brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after you eat. This is especially true if you've consumed anything acidic, such as citrus fruits or juices. These foods weaken the enamel and brushing too soon can damage the teeth while they are in a weakened state.

What Can You Do Instead?
If you feel that you need to clean your mouth immediately after eating, try and rinse your mouth out with water instead. This won't damage the enamel, and it will help to wash away food, bacteria, and acids. Rinsing your mouth out with water will help to stabilize the overall pH level of your mouth and can reduce odor-causing germs.

What About Brushing Before?

Some researchers actually recommend brushing before you eat, especially if you eat acidic foods. This way, you'll clean your teeth thoroughly, and you won't have to leave plaque and bacteria in place for an extended period of time after your meal. Always follow up by rinsing out your mouth with water, though.

In addition to brushing regularly, if you want to maintain a healthy smile, it is important that you keep up with your regular dental visits. Give us a call today to set up your next dental evaluation and cleaning, and we can further discuss the best times to brush.
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