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Like eating vegetables and wearing sunscreen, brushing our teeth at least twice a day was another activity we were alway told was essential. However, new research suggests that when you brush your teeth is more important than how often. For example, when it comes to post-meal cleaning–especially acidic meals–it’s better to wait at least 30 minutes before busting out your toothbrush.
Here’s why: “Acid attacks the teeth, eroding enamel and the layer below it, called dentin” and brushing only accelerates that process, The New York Times reported. “With brushing, you could actually push the acid deeper into the enamel and the dentin,” Dr. Howard R. Gamble, president of the Academy of General Dentistry, told The Times.
Things like soda (yes, that includes diet soda!), dairy foods, shellfish, coffee and alcohol are all highly acidic foods. So if you’re diligent about brushing your teeth, wait a while after you’ve eaten. In the meanwhile, Dr. Gamble told the The Times you can rinse your mouth with water to get any extra acid off those pearly whites.
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