jan-1.jpgMany people are in the habit of brushing their teeth soon after they eat anything at all, even if it’s just a snack. However, you might find it surprising to know that brushing immediately after eating isn’t the best way to care for your teeth.

Your tooth enamel consists of minerals that are extremely hard, but which are vulnerable to acid. Between meals, your mouth maintains a neutral pH, but whenever you eat something, acidity levels increase, leaching minerals from your tooth enamel. As the minerals are removed, your tooth enamel softens and eventually can develop cavities. The effect is worsened if you eat something that is naturally acidic.

Instead of brushing your teeth straight after eating, wait at least half an hour to an hour, allowing your mouth to return to a neutral pH. As it does so, the minerals that were removed from your tooth enamel are partially redeposited, helping to re-harden the enamel. However, the more time your mouth is exposed to acids, the greater the effect on your tooth enamel, and it will cause acid erosion. This is why it’s sensible to have a sugar hour, a time when you eat sugary foods, preferably as part of a main meal, reducing the impact on your teeth.