We’ve gone through our lives hearing much advice on what to do and not to do, and what is good and bad for our teeth. Validating or debunking some of the common myths is Dr. Christopher Knight, DDS, Two Rivers Family Dental and Cosmetics, of Grangeville.
Myth: You must brush your teeth immediately after each meal.
No, said Knight, especially if you have had a menu item with high amounts of acid, such as lemon or lime, acidic drinks, Chinese candy, Mexican Lucas or Chimoy. These items cause immediate demineralization of enamel on contact, like an acid etch.
“If brushed immediately,” he said, “demineralized enamel will slough off like chalk,” which occurs at the microscopic level and can have a cumulative effect.
“Studies indicate and support that once you’re done eating, don’t brush your teeth immediately afterwards,” Knight said. “It sounds odd, but the abrasive materials in toothpaste can further damage tooth enamel weakened by acid.”
Instead, he recommends washing your mouth out with water, eating cheese or drinking milk to lower or neutralize the acid. Consuming dairy products after acidic foods or drinks also can reduce the possibility of dental erosion.
“In the meantime, wait at least an hour to brush,” he said, “and use a fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth and reduce sensitivity.”
Two Rivers Dentistry is open five days a week to answer any dental questions. Our phone 208-983-1651. We’re also online at tworiversdentist.com. Complimentary consultation or second opinions are always available.