Brushing Teeth After Meals: Good or Bad?

When it comes to brushing your teeth, we all know to do it twice a day. But is brushing your teeth after meals bad? We’re here to break down the fiction and get to the actual fact. If you’re concerned about brushing your teeth after eating in Yorba Linda, or anywhere else in the world, read on to find out more.

Do you brush your teeth after you eat?

Most people who brush regularly brush their teeth early in the morning then once more before bed. But the real question is: are they brushing after meals or before them? And which is better? We’re about to break it all down for you so that you know once and for all.

Bacteria on the teeth start breaking down the enamel up to twenty minutes after consuming a meal, making the teeth vulnerable or softer than they usually would be. Research shows that bacteria produce acid seconds after meeting sucrose. Your saliva goes to 4.5 pH within five minutes, only returning to a balance of pH and out of acidity after thirty minutes. This means that if you choose to brush your teeth within 20 to 30 minutes of eating, you are intending to be healthy but you’re actually doing damage.

Watch out for high-acidic foods

The general rule is that you should definitely avoid brushing your teeth soon after you’ve eaten. Brushing after you’ve eaten high-acidity foods is an even worse idea, as the damage done is even greater. If you are eating lemon or lime wedges, oranges, or grapefruits, do not brush your teeth after! Don’t brush after soda either– phosphoric acid can erode hard tissues on the surface and cause permanent damage to teeth.

At the end of the day, it’s not the best idea to brush your teeth directly after eating a meal. You should wait at least thirty minutes after you’re done eating a meal to avoid your enamel being worn down or having acid erosion. Pop a mint or rinse your mouth with some water or mouthwash if you want to freshen up your mouth after a meal– trust us, it’s better.

It may be irritating or even scary to discover that you’ve been brushing the wrong way, maybe for years. But information is power, and adjusting your habits may not be that hard. Instead of going down to make coffee first thing in the morning, try going to the bathroom and picking up the brush! Try to make it one of the first things that you do. When it comes to the nighttime, either wait half an hour after eating to brush or try to make your snacks earlier in the night. 

Thanks for reading, and remember– brush before you eat, not after. Always!