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Dec
21

Can brushing too often be more harmful than good?

Good Oral Hygiene

Most of us know that maintaining good oral health involves brushing twice a day, flossing, using inter-dental brushes and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash, as most dental associations recommend. Some diligent people take this further and brush after meals, sugary drinks and snacks. However, is this really good for your teeth?

 

What research says about brushing too often

Research suggests that brushing too soon after meals and drinks, especially those that are acidic, can do more harm than good. Acid, found in food and drink, makes the enamel softer which increases the eroding process of the enamel and layer below it called dentine.  Brushing makes this worse by pushing the acid deeper into the enamel and dentine (H. Gamble, President of the Academy of General Dentistry).

A study was conducted on a group of volunteers to illustrate this. The researchers examined the impact of brushing their teeth after they drank diet soda over a period of 3 weeks. The researchers found an increase in enamel and dentine loss when brushing immediately after eating and drinking in comparison to waiting 30 or 60 minutes.

Waiting 30 minutes to 60 minutes to brush after a meal or sugary drink gives time for the mouth to produce enough saliva to neutralise the acidity. The saliva helps harden your teeth, helps absorb more calcium and protects them.

If you’re not sure if you’re brushing correctly please come in to Smile Cliniq for a consultation and demonstration, or have a look on our oral hygiene page.