Have you ever wondered..

When is the best time to brush your teeth?

Remember this: 2 x 2

The American Dental Association recommends brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes each time. Most people know this, but did you know that when you brush your teeth is also important?


It's not just how often, but WHEN you brush that is important.

Our teeth are covered by enamel, the hardest substance produced by the body. Enamel protects our teeth and is the first line of defense against tooth decay. When enamel becomes damaged, cavities, temperature sensitivity, and infection can all result. Enamel is weakened by bacteria found in plaque, which turn sugars to acid, excess sugar, and acidic foods and drinks. It is important to take care of our enamel because our body does not replace it over time.

Brushing is the best thing we can do to help protect tooth enamel because it helps remove food and plaque. But if you brush after eating acidic foods or drinks, you could be doing your teeth more harm than good. Acidic foods and drinks soften tooth enamel. If you brush too soon, you can further damage the weakened enamel. It’s best to wait 30 to 60 minutes after eating acidic foods or drinks before you brush.

I’m Supposed to Wait to Brush?

Waiting to brush your teeth after eating can seem counterintuitive. For example, many of us are in the habit of brushing our teeth after we eat breakfast. We want to leave the house with clean teeth and fresh breath. It may also make sense to us to brush our teeth after downing a soda or sports drink. We want to get the sugar off our teeth. It’s best, however, to allow our saliva time to neutralize the acid and for our enamel to harden before reaching for the toothbrush.

Acidic Foods to Watch For

Common acidic foods include citrus fruit, soda and carbonated drinks, sports drinks, coffee, wine, orange and apple juice, lemon water, tomato products, dried fruit, pickles, and sour candy. You can help neutralize the acid in these foods by eating them with foods like milk, cheese, nuts, whole grains, bananas, and melons.

If you feel the need for a clean mouth and fresh breath immediately after eating acidic foods, try swishing your mouth with water or mouthwash or chewing sugar-free gum, which will increase saliva production and speed the process of neutralizing acids.

The Bottom Line

Remember to brush your teeth twice daily, floss once daily, and see your dental professional twice a year for thorough cleanings and check-ups. Your dentist will be able to spot potential problems early and can make recommendations that will help keep your enamel strong and healthy.

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We serve the entire St. Croix Valley, including St. Croix Falls, Taylors Falls, Osceola, Turtle Lake & Grantsburg areas. Our full service dental clinic can still ensure you have the best dental hygiene possible. New patients are always welcome, so come visit us today to discuss your options. You’ll see for yourself why patient satisfaction is so high. Our friendly staff are more than happy to help!

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