Research suggests that the exposure to acidic food and drinks during meals softens the enamel of your teeth. Brushing your teeth immediately after consuming acidic foods and drinks increases the chance of enamel erosion. To help prevent dental erosion, drink or rinse with water immediately after eating or drinking. It is recommended that you avoid brushing for at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking acidic foods or drinks, or, better yet, brush your teeth before consumption. Brushing twice a day for at least two minutes helps to remove food particles and dental plaque that can damage teeth and gums over time.
To get a feel for the time involved, try using a stopwatch. To properly brush your teeth, use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gum line, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns, implants or other restoration. Concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section as follows:
- Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth.
- Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth.
- Clean the chewing surfaces of all the teeth.
- For fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue at least once a day, too.