Brushing teeth twice a day (in the mornings and last thing at night) is sufficient. However, many people brush much more than the recommended number of times per day. Could this be doing more harm than good?
Many people tend to think that brushing their teeth right after a meal has it’s benefits. However, brushing your teeth within 30 minutes of a big meal or straight after drinking a fizzy drink like coca cola could actually cause damage to your teeth.
This is because after drinking fizzy or acidic drinks, the acid burns into the enamel of your teeth and the layer below the enamel, called dentin. Dentin is a sensitive layer of tissue and tubules that communicate with the nerve of your teeth. Therefore, if the dentin were to become exposed, your teeth could become very painful or sensitive to things that never seemed to have an effect on them before, such as very hot or cold foods.
Knowing the best time to brush your teeth after drinking fizzy or acidic drinks will help protect your enamel and keep pain and sensitivity at bay. We recommend waiting at least 1 hour after drinking fizzy or acidic drinks before brushing your teeth to give your saliva a chance to neutralise the acid.
This is also the case with brushing teeth after eating a meal. Brushing too quickly after eating a meal can drive the acid deeper into the teeth, corroding them faster than they would have rotted by themselves. For brushing after eating a meal we would also recommend waiting an hour.
If you already have sensitive teeth we would recommend speaking to your dentist to see your best options for dealing with this. However, in the meantime we would recommend checking your tooth brush as this itself could be making the sensitivity worse.
Some people think the firmer the toothbrush the better. This isn’t always the best option though, especially for older adults. With age the gums push back and the roots of the teeth become exposed, often increasing tooth sensitivity. The root of the tooth is covered with cementum, which is worn away a lot easier than enamel.
If you have a brush that has firm bristles this may irritate the gums and lead to sensitive teeth. Therefore, whilst waiting for an appointment with your dentist we would recommend getting a new toothbrush that has softer bristles. This will ensure you are not increasing the risk of sensitivity within your teeth.
At Carisbrook Dental we are on hand to offer expert advice and information regarding brushing teeth and the best methods. Contact Carisbrook today for a friendly free consultation.