Eating sugary foods as part of a main meal is healthier for your teeth, but it is best to brush after eating. However, contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t brush immediately after you finish a meal, and here is why.

Why Wait Before Brushing?

After a meal, your mouth is more acidic as harmful bacteria that thrive on the leftovers create acid as a by-product. It is the acid that damages teeth, eroding and softening tooth enamel so that that over time, cavities can begin to develop. Your mouth remains acidic for at least half an hour after eating. If you brush your teeth at this stage, you are brushing softer tooth enamel, so your toothbrush more easily damages it. Waiting a while allows acidity levels to decline as your mouth becomes more alkaline. As this takes place, your tooth enamel begins to re-harden so you can brush safely.

How Frequent Snacking Affects Oral Health

Repeated acid attacks will eventually erode your tooth enamel, which is why it is better not to snack frequently on harmful, sugary foods or foods that are naturally acidic. If you can’t resist the urge, make sure you do wait before brushing, but in the meantime rinse your mouth with water. This will help to reduce acidity levels more quickly.