Brushing your teeth too much can’t hurt, right? Not exactly.
The American Dental Association recommends that everyone brush their teeth at least twice per day. If you’re especially keen about taking perfect care of your teeth, maybe you brush after meals too. But be warned: there is a right way to do this.
Researchers have discovered that brushing too soon after a meal, especially when you’ve had something acidic to eat or drink, can damage your teeth. Acid breaks down your enamel and can damage the next layer, dentin. Dentin is the bony tissue that forms your tooth. Dr. Howard Gamble, president of the Academy of General Dentistry, notes that “with brushing, you could actually push the acid deeper into the enamel and the dentin.”
So when is safe to brush? According to current research, if you brush your teeth at least 30 minutes after a meal, you’re good to go. And if you want to be extra careful about acid damage, Dr. Gamble recommends rinsing your mouth with water after a meal. You can also use a mix of one part baking soda with eight parts water to really balance out any acidic residue.