Tips from our dentists & hygienists - When to NOT brush your teeth

Get the lowdown on when to SKIP teeth brushing from one of our in-house dental experts, Yasmin Chebbi, DMD

Brushing and flossing your teeth 2-3 times a day is a vital part of keeping your teeth and gums in tip top shape. Yet, there are a few key times when brushing your teeth may do more harm than good!   

So, when should you avoid brushing your teeth?

  • Right before a meal, especially with acidic foods (think citrus foods). When we brush our teeth, we temporarily remove the good biofilm that protects our teeth from cavity causing culprtis. 
  • Right after a meal. After we eat, the acid from the food we eat temporarily weakens the ename in our teeth until our teeth have a change to remineralize. Brushing right after a meal causes damage to our temporarily weakened enamel. 
  • Right after vomiting. After we vomit, our natural instinct is to grab the toothbrush and give our teeth a good wash. Don't! The acid from our stomach is very strong and weakens the enamel in our teeth. Brushing would cause extreme stress to our enamel. 

My top tips:

  • Swish your mouth with room temperature water for 10-20 seconds right after an acid exposure to gently rinse away debris and neutralize the pH of our mouths. 
  • Try waiting at least 15-20 minutes after acid exposure to brush your teeth. This gives your teeth a chance to remineralize and strengthen with the natural minerals in your mouth.