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Be careful when you brush your teeth

Many people brush more than the recommended number of times per day – especially after a rich meal.

But dentists warn that the extra brushing could be doing more harm than good.

'We brush her teeth regularly, and she's been seeing our family dentist since she was 2 1/2.'. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

And brushing within half an hour of eating a meal or drinking a soft drink could ensure your teeth suffer worse damage.

When you drink a fizzy or acidic drink, the acid burns into the enamel of your teeth – and the layer below the enamel, called “dentin”.

Brushing at the “wrong” time – particularly within 20 minutes of the drink or finishing a meal – can drive the acid deeper into your teeth, corroding them far faster than they would have rotted by themselves.

“With brushing, you could actually push the acid deeper into the enamel and the dentin,” says Dr Howard R Gamble, president of the American Academy of General Dentistry, in an interview with the New York Times.

In a study, volunteers wore human dentin samples in their mouths, and tested different brushing regimens.

Researchers found that brushing in the 20 minutes after a soft drink or meal damaged teeth noticeably, but wear was not significantly higher if the person waited for 30 minutes to an hour.

“For protection of dentin surfaces at least 30 minutes should elapse before toothbrushing after an erosive attack,” they say. – Daily Mail

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