Brushing your teeth immediately after eating may affect your tooth enamel. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you've consumed anything acidic, you should avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes. Foods containing citric acid, such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons, weaken tooth enamel. Brushing too soon after eating these types of foods can damage the enamel in its weakened state.
Therefore, it's a good idea to brush your teeth before eating an acidic food and to drink a glass of water when you are finished to wash away the acids. For the best results, and if you have sensitive teeth, you should use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste for sensitive teeth. It contains fluoride to prevent tooth decay and potassium nitrate to lessen the pain caused by tooth sensitivity.
As an alternative to waiting to brush your teeth, try eating nutritious foods that are low in carbohydrates and sugar after eating something acidic. This will help reduce the harmful acids that such foods can create.
In addition, according to the American Dental Association, prolonged exposure to phosphoric acid, an ingredient found in soft drinks, can erode hard tissues from the tooth surface. Acid erosion causes permanent damage to your teeth. To keep acid erosion to a minimum, limit snacking between meals and be mindful of consumption of soft drinks and sugary snack foods.
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