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Should You Really Brush Your Teeth Right After Meals?

It’s not always advisable to brush your teeth right after every meal. Here’s why.

We grew up to the belief that brushing is essential for clean and healthy teeth. Brushing at least two times a day is a must to avoid plaque from accumulating on our gums and to remove food debris on our teeth—both of which can cause tooth decay. But should you really brush your teeth right after every meal?

If you had fruits, soda, wine or any food that contains acid, you need to wait about an hour before you should brush your teeth. The acids in many foods soften the tooth enamel, making them vulnerable to damage from brushing. Rinsing your mouth with water won’t speed up the process. An hour after meal is enough time for the acids to clear away and the enamel to re-harden.

In addition, brushing your teeth excessively and brushing too long can also lead to gum disease and tooth decay as the enamel is brushed off. When the tooth enamel has worn away, there is no way to reverse the process.

According to Peter Heasman, a professor of periodontology at Newcastle University’s School of Dental Sciences, two minutes twice a day brushing with a pressure of 150 grams – equivalent to holding an orange – is correct practice.

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  1. Not really– I brush mine twice…in the morning and before going to bed!

    However, I chew gum the whole day! to make my breath fresh!

  2. Probably the worst culprit that causes decay is sugar. Just about everything we put into our mouths contain sugar. Sipping sweetened coffee or soda all day is very harmful. If you can not brush after drinking or eating, at least gargle/rince the mouth with warm water. This is a good practice to get into when eating in restaurants. It is not as good as brushing but it will help to wash away the sugar in your mouth.

  3. Thank you. This was informative

  4. great articles… very informative!

  5. Great article. Thank you!

  6. Excellent, informative article! Thanks!

  7. This is a great article. Thanks for the information.

  8. Useful information. Teeth is important for our health.

  9. Great information.

  10. Useful information! Thanks for the article!!

  11. interesting article!

    Cheers,

    Denus

    Oh btw i added you!

  12. Beneficial information. Thanks.

  13. Subhaanallaah Nice picture! Now, I know why I don’t want to use artificial teeth!
    (Come on see Cyberneverty’s articles for instance in www. bukisa.com/r/cyberneverty via internet HP/ Laptop/Notebook/Internet Shop(Tell your friends, plz!) Your view is precious for us!)

  14. Thanks for the write, JK. I always figured, “everything in moderation”, including what all the health hype says. Glad to know there’s at least one dentist who agrees!

  15. this is a very useful information. I will use your tips every time i brush my teeth.

  16. Now I have to change my daily routine of brushing my teeth right after my lunch. I brushes my teeth Thrice a day. In the morning, after lunch and before going to bed.

  17. That’s new information to me! I like it a lot! It makes a lot of sense and great job of including sources too!

  18. All I have to say is, PROVE IT!
    Show me some hard evidence from a large group of different people who have brushed their teeth as the article suggests, and who have brushed them after every time they eat.
    I want to see what a lifetime of each type of habits have produced.
    Without evidence your advice is merely a theory. It would be so easy to prove your theory, why not do it?

  19. The acids in foods change and brake down the molecular structure of the enamel that covers the teeth… The irons are released and the enamel becomes soft… Leaving time for the body to harden the enamel will stop the accidental brushing away of these irons, which are essential for health enamel

  20. Thank you . My son was the one who told me not to brush right after meals but I didn\’t beleave him and this time he was right. Mommy learns from son. Thats g

  21. I will try to prove it to you Paul, all you have to do believe:-)
    I am telling this rom my own experience. I didn’t ever any gum recession or bone loss or even cavities, all my teeth were perfectly healthy until I started to wear braces. Now braces are not the problem, the problem was that I started to brush my teeth after every meal or any drink like coffee or juice. All I was doing was following my orthodontist’s as well as my dentists’ advice, yes I have had many dentists. All of them were telling me brush after every meal. They never mention I had to wait for an hour or so, never ! Very rapidly I obtained gum recession, my cavities were developed everywhere, now all my teeth are with fillings.
    Then I discovered that I have a bone loss I went to the dentist and said maybe I should quit sugar or coffee, he or they never said yes , it is actually harmful so , basically I stopped trusting doctors, particularly in dental field.
    Hope this can enlighten you somehow, sometimes we do not need dry proofs just do your own research do a lot, and use your common judgments. It’s been three months quitted coffee and sugar, and have been doing an oil pulling treatment. My teeth that were wobbling from extreme boneless got better, my sever gum recession is getting better, slowly but I see results.
    so believe it or not it is true.

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