Recent research from the University of Adelaide in South Australia on tooth erosion shows that the old advice to “brush your teeth right after a meal” is not correct after all. In fact, Dentist Dr. Neil McLeod BDS, LDS, RCS, DDS educates his patients to wait to brush for at least one and a half to two hours after eating because exposure to acidic foods or drinks softens the enamel and damages your teeth.
When your teeth soften and wear away it is called tooth, or enamel, erosion. There are many different foods and beverages that we consume today that create an acidic environment in the mouth. Brushing your teeth immediately after consuming these acidic foods and drinks actually causes enamel erosion and damages to teeth.
Dr. McLeod explains, “Many of the foods we eat are slightly acidic and that means that they actually dissolve the external layer of the tooth – slightly. You can see an extreme example of that if you bite into a lemon. Immediately after biting into the fruit you notice that the teeth feel rough. What is that roughness? The answer is, it is the exposed protein matrix that supports the crystals of the enamel sticking out from the etched surface of the outer part of the tooth that makes it feel rough. Two hours later how does it feel? Smooth. The saliva in your mouth is a super saturated solution of calcium salts. It actually reconstitutes the external layer of the tooth. If you eat something that’s acidic and you immediately go and brush your teeth you damage the protein matrix and eliminate the reconstitution or recrystallization of the outermost part of the tooth. If you brush vigorously immediately after every meal, slowly but surely, you’ll be damaging your teeth.” Dr. McLeod educates his patients about tooth erosion and tells them, “Don’t rush to brush!”
Soda drinkers, juice sippers and food grazers should also be warned: prolonged exposure to acids in the mouth leads to faster tooth wear. When acidic drinks or sugary beverages are sipped throughout the day or acidic foods are eaten throughout the day instead of consumed at a meal, the environment inside the mouth remains acidic and the softened tooth enamel doesn’t have a chance to re-harden in between meals. Tooth wear and erosion can also cause sensitivity. Carbonated beverages (regular, diet and carbonated water), citrus, wine, fruit juice, sports drinks, green apples and pickles are all commonly eaten acidic foods that could potentially cause tooth erosion.
Patient Kenny Bellini appreciates that Dr. McLeod takes the time to educate his patients on new dental research such as waiting to brush after meals. He comments, “There is no better dentist in the world…An appointment with Dr. McLeod is an experience with the best, most skilled and intelligent doctor you will ever meet. Even if you have perfect teeth, see him so they last forever.”
In addition to understanding the latest techniques and research, patients note that Dr. McLeod truly believes in helping them have a beautiful and long-lasting smile. “Dr. McLeod is an artist who expresses himself in his dentistry. Quality that lasts is a superior value when compared to “clinic” class dentistry that soon fails and must be redone. I highly recommend Dr. McLeod and his expert, caring medical staff. I carry the results in my mouth daily!” says patient Ron Bischof.
To learn more about Dr. Neil McLeod BDS, LDS, RCS, DDS please visit: http://www.drneilmcleod.com/