We grew up to the belief that brushing is essential for clean and healthy teeth. Brushing at least two times a day is a must to avoid plaque from accumulating on our gums and to remove food debris on our teeth—both of which can cause tooth decay. But should you really brush your teeth right after every meal?
If you had fruits, soda, wine or any food that contains acid, you need to wait about an hour before you should brush your teeth. The acids in many foods soften the tooth enamel, making them vulnerable to damage from brushing. Rinsing your mouth with water won’t speed up the process. An hour after meal is enough time for the acids to clear away and the enamel to re-harden.
In addition, brushing your teeth excessively and brushing too long can also lead to gum disease and tooth decay as the enamel is brushed off. When the tooth enamel has worn away, there is no way to reverse the process.
According to Peter Heasman, a professor of periodontology at Newcastle University’s School of Dental Sciences, two minutes twice a day brushing with a pressure of 150 grams – equivalent to holding an orange – is correct practice.