Ask a Dentist

May 14, 2020

Should I brush my teeth after lunch?

Winnipeg Dental Clinic Dentist brush teeth

Q: Should I brush my teeth after lunch?I have a co-worker who brushes her teeth after lunch. Is that something I should think about if I already brush and floss twice a day?

A: Taking the time to brush and floss your teeth midday does have it’s benefits (and not just because it can prevent you from showing up at a meeting with food in your teeth!)

It is a good idea, especially if your lunch contains foods or drinks that are high in carbohydrates and sugars. Those are the foods that feed the bacteria in your mouth, allowing them to latch on to your

teeth and gums and attack your tooth enamel. By brushing after lunch, you will get rid of bacteria and sugars and protect your teeth and gums.

However, brushing your teeth immediately after eating can sometimes negatively affect your tooth enamel. If you have consumed anything acidic you should avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes. Foods containing citric acid, like oranges, grapefruits, limes, and lemons, weaken tooth enamel, and brushing too soon after eating them can cause erosion of the enamel in its weakened state. It’s a good idea to drink a glass of water after eating citrus and other acidic foods to rinse away the acids.

We recommend a healthy diet as part of your oral health routine; that means avoiding foods with sugar and starchy carbohydrates and loading up on vegetables, legumes, protein sources and some fruit.

For more information on brushing and flossing, visit the Canadian Dental Association’s website.

Visiting your dentist regularly is part of a healthy oral health routine. Book your next appointment at our St. Vital or Garden City dental clinics today.