Avoid brushing after eating to protect the enamel, dentists advise

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Many people might assume that the sooner they brush after eating, the better but dentists are keen to encourage patients to wait to protect the enamel.

Dr Hanna Kinsella, from Kiln Lane Dental, said that people often think that it is beneficial to try and get rid of food from the mouth as quickly as possible after eating, but this can actually be counterproductive. Bacteria feed when we eat, which causes them to release acids. These acids temporarily weaken the enamel, causing it to soften.

Brushing straight after eating when the enamel is soft can damage it, increasing the risk of erosion and sensitivity.
Dr Kinsella recommends waiting at least half an hour to clean the teeth after eating and advises against snacking between meals to protect the enamel from frequent acid attacks. She also encourages patients to brush gently.

Holding the brush firmly and applying pressure to the teeth can also harm the enamel and it’s better to brush lightly, covering every surface of each tooth. When using an electric brush, the brush should be left to do all the work. No additional pressure is needed from the user to achieve a deep clean.

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