Is 30 Minutes the Right Amount of Time to Wait to Brush?
Posted on 4/25/2019 by Jared Pell, DDS
You just ate breakfast or had a sugary snack, and you know you need to clean your teeth. You may be tempted to head for the bathroom to brush right away, but this can actually further damage your teeth. In fact, we recommend that you wait for at least 30 minutes after eating before you brush.
Why Wait to Brush?
To understand why you should wait to brush, you need to know what happens to your teeth when you eat. Foods and drinks alter the pH of your mouth, making the environment more acidic. This is one of the most vulnerable times for your teeth, as the enamel will soften and demineralize during this acid attack.
Unfortunately, should you brush while your teeth are in this weakened state, you can do more damage than good. You'll scrape away at the vulnerable enamel and can cause acid erosion. Once the enamel is gone, it is gone for good, so it is important to protect what you have.
What Can You Do Instead? Luckily, there are things that you can do to clean your teeth and mouth without brushing. Try to rinse your mouth out with water, as water will neutralize the acids in your mouth and will wash away bacteria, food particles, and plaque. You can also chew sugar-free gum, which stimulates saliva production and freshens your mouth.
Making better food choices can also minimize the impact of acids in your mouth. Try eating crunchy vegetables, especially at the end of your meal. Fibrous foods like carrots, celery, and cucumbers will work to scrub your teeth while also boosting saliva production.
Waiting for at least 30 minutes after a meal is a safe way to make sure your teeth aren't damaged in the process. To find out more, please contact our office to set up your next appointment.