Posted .

It is important to brush and floss your teeth everyday (brushing happens twice daily, usually morning and night). However, many people want to clean their mouths immediately after eating to maintain a clean smile and fresh breath.

Unfortunately, brushing right after eating can injure your smile. The acids from the food or drink soften the enamel, making it very sensitive to abrasion (like from brushing teeth). Because of the enamel is softened, brushing right after eating can actually do much more harm than good. Don’t brush immediately after eating unless directed to do so by your dentist.

The best way to clean your smile after eating is to drink a large glass of water, then chew sugarless gum for 20 minutes. Chewing sugarless gum stimulates the salivary glands. Saliva is your body’s first natural defense against cavities: it washes food particles away from teeth and neutralizes the acids present, preparing your teeth for brushing.

Of course, chewing sugar-sweetened gum also stimulates saliva production. However, the sugars present in the gum get washed around the mouth, feeding the bacteria that live there. The bacteria create an acidic byproduct which erodes your tooth enamel. Thus, chewing sugar-sweetened gum can make cavity formation worse rather than fight it. For a healthy smile, stick with sugar-free gum!

For more information, call Oshins Of Smiles in Guilderland, New York, at 518-356-5635. Dr. Steven Oshins and our team look forward to making your smile shine!