Do you know when to brush your teeth? Do you think you need to brush right after you eat or drink something? While many people have this idea, you could be damaging your teeth. Research has shown that brushing immediately after eating or drinking could actually be damaging your teeth! When we eat or drink acidic or sugary foods, the protective layer of our teeth, the enamel, actually becomes slightly softer than normal. This is due to a drop in the pH level in your mouth. Remember those days from high school chemistry? The ideal pH of your mouth is around a neutral level of pH 7. When sugar and acid are introduced into your mouth, the pH level can drop as low as 2.5. At these lower pH levels the enamel of your teeth is not as strong to protect them from cavities. Brushing while the enamel is soft can actually cause damage to the teeth over time.
Rinsing Before You Brush
The best thing to do is to rinse with water right after eating and drinking. This helps rinse sugar and bacteria off of the teeth, and also helps the pH level get to the neutral level faster. It typically takes about 30 minutes for your mouth to rebound back to the neutral level, so it is best to wait at least 30 minutes after eating and drinking to brush. Come see us at Oak Family Dental for more great tips like this one to keep your mouth healthy!