Ask A Dentist: When Should I Avoid Brushing?

Did you know that there are certain times when you should not brush your teeth? It’s true. Brushing at some specific times can actually cause damage to the enamel on your teeth and the layer below it. When it comes to oral wellness, you can never be too careful about what may harm your teeth and gums. Here’s some advice from the best dentist in Glendale on when to wait to brush.

You Should Not Brush…

…Before an Acidic Meal

Acidic foods and drinks such as soda, cheese, vinegar, kombucha, pineapple, wine, coffee, tomatoes, and so much more compromise the enamel on your teeth. Fortunately, there’s a protective layer of “friendly” plaque that acts as a buffer between your enamel and those acids. However, when you brush your teeth right before eating a meal with acidic foods or drinks, you’re getting rid of that protection. So avoid brushing before an acidy meal!

…Right After Any Meal

Yes, you’re supposed to brush your teeth after you eat. But not directly after. A good amount of time to leave before brushing after a meal is 30 minutes. This allows time for your mouth to regain a healthy balance after eating. This means your saliva will have removed any lingering bits of food, the pH in your mouth will be normalized, and everything will be in a good place to be brushed. Your friendly, protective plaque will have had a chance to form a protective layer by then too, so you won’t be brushing away softened enamel on your teeth.

…Right After Vomiting

Sorry. We know it’s kind of unpleasant to bring this one up, but it’s so important. The absolute worst time to brush your teeth is probably also the time when you want to do it the most: after vomiting. This is due to acids again—this time, acids from your stomach. These acids are very strong, and can be pretty dangerous to the enamel on your teeth. As a result, brushing right after can wear down the softened enamel and the layer beneath it, and can lead to weakened teeth. Instead of brushing right after getting sick, swish a mouthful of water and spit. Repeat until your mouth feels better. This same advice goes if you have frequent acid reflux.

As a general rule, it’s also good to not brush your teeth too aggressively, as this can also damage your enamel. Some people only feel like they’ve done a good job brushing if they really get in there and scrub hard, but avoid it. The plaque you’re trying to get rid of is loose and soft, and doesn’t require hard scrubbing.

If you’re looking for the best dentist in Glendale, CA, Infinite Dental Wellness is the right choice for you. We specialize in many preventative and corrective treatments, as well as pediatric dentistry, and we offer emergency services for those unfortunate times when you may need one. If you want to make an appointment or have any questions for us, please feel free to contact us at any time.