Why should I wait 30-60 minutes after eating to brush my teeth?
The ADA recommends that you wait 30 to 60 minutes before brushing teeth after eating. Here's why:
1) Digestion begins in your mouth with the combination of chewing and salivation (which has digestive enzymes) to help break down the food before swallowing. Smaller pieces of food that might cling to your teeth can take time to dissolve and get washed down.
Tip: Chew each bite well before swallowing for optimal digestion. Don't wash down food with water while you are still eating - water will dilute your saliva and the food will enter your stomach without the benefit of being pre-digested - drink water when you are finished with your meal.
2) Small food particles can get pushed into your gums by a toothbrush. If you brush directly after you eat you could accidentally push food that has collected on your toothbrush (or is still clinging to crevices in your teeth) up into your gum line where it can cause an infection.
Tip: Rinse, swish, and pull water through your teeth and gums before you start brushing to make sure all food is gone. If you get food stuck in your gums or any open pockets you can use a water pick to gently remove it. Oil Pulling, (best done before eating) can also help dislodge and remove any leftover food particles while fighting bad bacteria and any oral infections - do this 3x a day at least 15 minutes, to make sure any/all debris is gone. Continue oil pulling, at least 1x a day (best before breakfast) for a week to make sure any infection has healed.
3) Brushing your teeth in an acidic environment damages enamel. Most food is acidic and will create an acidic environment in your mouth while you are eating - think of "acid etching" - artists use acids to weaken hard surfaces in order to cut in/etch a design. Your body is constantly working to become balanced - a balanced PH is 7. Usually, within 60 minutes after eating your mouth is more alkaline. However, if you are in a disease state or suffer from indigestion (have poor gut health), your body may not be able to create a balanced or more Alkaline environment. Using a mouth rinse of 1/2 tsp of baking soda in 8 oz of water can help temporarily.
Tip: Cure your acidity (which can cause sensitivity from weakened enamel). Use PH test strips to find out if your body is acidic - test your saliva and/or urine upon waking. Test again 60 minutes after eating. If you are not able to achieve 7 plus you need to supplement your diet with Alkaline water and/or minerals. Drinking water with baking soda 3x a day after eating can help. PH Adjust is a useful powder to achieve Alkalinity quickly.
If you can't wait to brush your teeth, we recommend thoroughly rinsing your mouth with baking soda and water, followed by a Toothpaste or Toothpowder that is Alkaline (the higher the better), such as Mineral Toothpowder, and using a Toothbrush that is less likely to collect food (fewer bristles, set farther apart) such as our Bamboo Toothbrush.