How to clean your teeth after eating sugar

Knowing how to clean your teeth after eating sugar is a smart way to stay healthy.

Since sugar causes cavities, and most of us eat it, it makes sense to ask: What’s the best way to clean your teeth after eating sugar? If you’re already in the habit of brushing twice a day, the good news is you’re on the right track. But to keep your smile healthy and bright, read on to understand how to prevent cavities from forming.

A quick lesson on what sugar does to teeth

Our mouths are home to all manner of bacteria. The bacteria grow into acid that actively thrive on sugar and starch. The acid removes minerals from your tooth enamel in a process called demineralization. The more sugar you consume—including sucrose, fructose and glucose—the more acid is formed. And, if the acid isn’t removed, your tooth enamel decays and causes cavities.

How to stop cavities from forming

Your body has a natural cleaning system to prevent decay. Your saliva contains minerals that help reverse the damage caused by eating too much sugar. But if you eat a lot of sugar, your teeth need some extra assistance to stay clean and healthy.

Start by drinking more water. Studies have shown that drinking or rinsing your teeth with water removes about 30% of the food and sugar you consume. That’s a great first step, but what about the remaining 70% of food and sugar that the water doesn’t wash away?

If you have eaten a lot of sugar, it’s a good idea to brush your teeth. But don’t rush to the sink just yet. Dentists suggest waiting at least 30 minutes after consuming sugar before brushing. Brushing too soon can actually harm your teeth in two ways.

  • First, you want to give saliva the time to do its natural cleaning job.
  • Second, brushing right after eating can spread sugar induced acid. Thus, tiny particles of enamel can be brushed away.

So, when should you brush? Wait 30-60 minutes after eating. Then, brush for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. Of course, you also want to brush every morning and right before going to bed as part of your routine. And whatever you do, don’t forget to visit your dentist for a checkup and cleaning at least every six months. Take care of your health by taking care of your teeth.

For tips on how to brush and maintain the best oral hygiene, read Gum Care Matters: Tips for healthy home care. 

We’ll see you soon!

We want you to take good care of your teeth now and throughout your life. If you are overdue for a dental cleaning, contact Dr. Frahm and make an appointment today. We practice a gentle but effective approach to removing bacteria-harboring plaque while attending to your overall oral health and keeping an eye out for signs of gum disease. Contact Dr. Frahm today at 831-372-8011. Our office is conveniently located at 660 Camino Aguajito #201 in Monterey, CA 93940.

About Dr. Frahm

Dr. Frahm received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 2003. She completes more than 100 hours of postdoctoral training each year; earning recognition from dental experts around the country for her knowledge in the areas of cosmetic, general and restorative dentistry. Dr. Frahm is committed to providing you with excellent, comprehensive dental care. Dr. Frahm uses advanced dental techniques and technology to ensure your comfort and lasting results.

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