Before we get into how often to brush, let’s get a refresher on just why it’s important to do so. Our mouths are filled with bacteria, food particles, and other microscopic things that we don’t even notice. When we let this stuff just sit in our mouth, it ends up damaging our teeth through things like the release of acids and plaque buildup. This leads to costly, time consuming trips to the dentist for treatment. However, if you brush your teeth properly, you can keep them healthy and minimize any chance of oral decay.
The idea behind brushing after each meal is, in fact, rooted in common sense dental health. As you eat, food becomes trapped between your teeth as well as in order areas of the mouth. When left to sit, these bits of food and organic debris begin to break down. Since so much of our diets tend top be carbohydrate based, this means that those bits of food slowly become turned into sugar by our body’s natural digestive systems, which includes saliva. As the food gets turned into sugar it can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and, of course, general bad breath. This is why many people have begun to brush after every meal. By brushing, flossing and rinsing, this cleans the mouth and doesn’t give the left over food any time to begin to wreak havoc on your teeth and breath.
A study of dentists and parents of school-age children, by toothpaste company Sensodyne, found that 53 per cent of five-year-olds had tooth erosion. Experts are suggesting that acid in food and drink can make tooth enamel soft and using a toothbrush straight after eating can scratch the surface of the teeth and wear them down.
Brushing at the 'wrong' time - particularly within 20 minutes of finishing a meal - can drive the acid deeper into your teeth, corroding them far faster than they would have rotted by themselves. Toothbrushing stops plaque building up. It isn't just about moving some toothpaste around your mouth, though. You need to concentrate on the nooks and crannies to make sure you remove as much plaque and leftover bits of food as possible.