Brushing your teeth after every meal may be doing more harm than good. That is just one of the new findings that dentists are talking about. Sugary food and drinks stick to your teeth. The result may be acids that can lead to a build-up of plaque, gum disease, swelling and cavities.
It has been believed that brushing after every meal is the best way to get rid sugar and acid. Hold on. Brushing may actually scrub the acid into your teeth, causing decay. If you wait 30 minutes, the saliva in your mouth will remove the acid without rubbing it in.
The smart thing to do is to rinse your mouth out with water. Even better, keep a good mouthwash nearby. That will help get rid of the acids.
Studies show two things can reduce tooth decay. The first is chewy cheese. String cheese reduces bacterial plaque and makes you salivate. Also, naturally occurring chemicals in cheese “encourage teeth to remineralize.” An expert says, “The pairing of cheese with cheese is actually a good thing because the cheese can counterbalance the acidity of the wine.”
If you cannot get to your toothbrush, chewing sugarless gum is the second option for reducing tooth decay.
Brushing twice a day, for two minutes each time, is still a good idea. If you can only brush once, bedtime is best. Rinsing out your mouth after sipping sugary drinks is always a good idea.
And do not forget — floss.