Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


Should You Be Brushing after Meals? Yes and No. Confused? Read on!


Everyone who’s ever been to the dentist, and plenty of people who haven’t understand that you have to brush your teeth. It’s not as much about polishing them, but more a matter of keeping them clear of the grit, debris, and bacteria that can undermine the protective enamel of your teeth and lead to problems like cavities.  As we all know, cavities (if left untreated) are the very beginning of a number of problems that are very easily avoided. While a cavity can always be fixed with a filling, putting it off for too long can lead to more serious problems, like dental abscesses (which require root canal treatment). Or, you might end up needing to repair and protect a damaged tooth with a dental crown, or even replace the tooth with a dental bridge or denture – that is, if it’s left on its own for too long.


Brushing after meals is a great way to make sure that your teeth are clear of all the little enablers that make cavities, decay, and enamel erosion possible. However, you want to be careful about when you brush after meals and how you brush after meals. The problem you need to be aware of is acid. Many foods, ranging from grains and sugars to fruit, fish, and (of course) sodas and sweetened beverages contain high amounts of acid. Acid is one of the primary culprits when it comes to damaging your teeth, and that damage generally starts at the enamel, because the acid is sitting right on your teeth.

Now, if your skin was stung by a bee or accidentally covered in bleach. Would you rub it in to remove it? No! That’s why brushing right after eating highly acidic food isn’t actually going to help you. You need to give your mouth some time to wash away the acid, so you’re not doing more harm than good.

Breakfast is the Trickiest

While they say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s also one of the meals that tends to contain the most acidic foods (like fresh fruit and sweetened juice). Unfortunately, many patients also think it’s better to brush after eating. It makes sense right? Why brush your teeth in the morning and then go right to eating your breakfast?   Instead, brush right when you wake up. Eat your breakfast, and make sure you drink plenty of water to wash all the acid and debris away. Add some mouthwash for good measure, and be on your way. If you have the opportunity to brush after lunch, perfect. But try to time it right!
Have questions about your oral hygiene?

We love to share our expertise. Our dentists in Garden Grove have been in the industry for years, and we thrive on happy, long-lasting smiles. For more information on our practice, our services, our how we can help you – please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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