To Brush or Not to Brush?

Sugar land pediatric dentists

When it comes to the right time to brush, Sugar Land pediatric dentists recommend waiting at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking before brushing your teeth. Does this come as a surprise to you? As one of the best pediatric dentists in Sugar Land here is what Dr. Hunter has to say on the matter:

“Brushing too soon after eating or drinking a sugar-filled drink can actually accelerate the erosion process by pushing acids deeper into the enamel of the teeth. As a pediatric dentist, I advise all my patients old and young to wait approximately 30 minutes or more after eating before brushing their teeth.”

Acid, Erosion and Enamel

Recently researchers studied the effect of toothbrushing on patients who had just finished consuming a diet soda. They found that in this group, more enamel was lost when teeth were brushed within 20 minutes after finishing the beverage, than when subjects held off brushing for 30-60 minutes after finishing their drink. They concluded that to protect the enamel of your teeth, all patients should wait at least 30 minutes before brushing after eating or drinking foods high in acid content.

The same group of researchers recommends rinsing the mouth with plain water, or with a mixture of one part baking soda to eight parts water to remove acid and neutralize the mouth. Patients who suffered from acid reflux were also directed to wait to brush and use the neutralizing mixture.

“When you want to make etched glass, you apply an acid or an abrasive and scratch it – that is what happens if you drink a sports drink or a soda, or even wine, and brush right after,” Dentist Jeffrey M. Cole, former president of the Academy of General Dentistry, a dental advocacy group, told the Wall Street Journal during an interview. “But if you give your mouth some time – around a half an hour – your saliva will have worked to neutralize the acids.”

Keep Your Teeth Safe

Other alternatives to the wait to brush theory would be to eat healthier foods with a low sugar content, eliminate all soda or diet soda, and limit snacking between meals. Sugarless gum and xylitol are also commonly recommended to help your mouth remain at a proper pH level. However, Sugar Land pediatric dentists are now recommending eating cheese after consuming acidic foods or beverages to reduce the pH of bacteria and plaque. Dr. Cole explains, “Chewy things encourage salivation and proteins in your saliva will buffer acids; as well, naturally occurring chemicals in cheese encourage the tooth to remineralize.”