We all know that saying our mothers used to caution us with at bedtime “Don’t forget to brush!” But how many times a day should you really brush your teeth? Should you be brushing after every meal or just after bigger meals such as breakfast and dinner?
When you eat certain foods and drinks, especially those high in sugar, harmful bacteria can form in your mouth that attack healthy tooth enamel. By brushing after you eat, you can stop these bacteria before they cause any harm.
Even though brushing your teeth after you eat seems like a logical way to keep your teeth healthy, it can also be somewhat harmful in certain cases. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you’ve consumed any food or drink that contains acidic properties, you should avoid brushing your teeth right away. This could include foods such as lemons, fish and even some grains. Brushing after eating acidic foods like these can cause the already weakened tooth enamel to become removed.
To avoid removing weakened tooth enamel, try drinking a glass of water after eating in order to wash away the harmful acids. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth two times a day and to make sure you’re using an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste as well. And I recommend waiting about 20 minutes after eating or drinking anything to brush your teeth as your enamel is most weak and susceptible to damage during that window following acid exposure.