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How Long is the Right Amount of Time to Wait After Eating to Brush?

Posted on 5/10/2019 by Dr. Andrew Zeiger
How Long is the Right Amount of Time to Wait After Eating to Brush?Did you know that you should wait after eating before you brush your teeth? We recommend at least 30-60 minutes between eating and brushing, as this will give your mouth enough time to stabilize the pH balance. Otherwise, when your teeth are in a weakened state due to an increase in acid, brushing could actually cause damage to the enamel.

What is Acid Erosion?

Acid erosion is a type of tooth wear that is caused when acid softens the enamel. Acidic foods and beverages like tomato sauce, fruit, coffee, and orange juice will demineralize and soften the enamel, making it more susceptible to damage. Even brushing can cause damage if you brush when your teeth are in this weakened state.

What Causes Acid Erosion?

When the teeth are exposed to acids, the enamel temporarily softens and loses some mineral content. Fortunately, the body works to restore the normal pH of the mouth my neutralizing acidity. This allows the enamel to harden again, but because the recovery process is fairly slow, the enamel often doesn't have a chance to repair.

How Can You Manage Acid Erosion?

Fortunately, damage due to acid erosion isn't inevitable, and there are things that you can do to minimize it. The first is to wait for at least 30-60 minutes after you eat or drink in order to brush your teeth. This way, you won't aggravate your enamel while it is in its weakened state. You should also consider reducing the frequency in which you consume acidic foods and drinks and use a straw to divert liquids away from the teeth.

Additionally, you should avoid swishing acidic beverages around in your mouth. Are you worried about acid erosion and the affect it has had on your teeth? Give our office a call today for an evaluation.

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