You know you’re going to have something sweet to eat today, but when is the best time to have it without causing too much damage to your teeth? The best time for your “sugar hour” is when you have a main meal.
Why Have Sugary Foods as Part of the Main Meal?
When you eat the main meal, the acidity levels in your mouth naturally increase and remain high for quite some time. This increase in acidity is caused by bacteria using food particles for energy and producing acid as a byproduct. When you enjoy something sugary during your main meal, damage to your teeth is reduced because your mouth is already acidic. If you were to enjoy it as a snack, it increases damage to your teeth because the time your mouth remains acidic is longer.
What Happens to Teeth While the Mouth is Acidic?
All the time your mouth is acidic, it is eroding tooth enamel, and the layer underneath called dentine. Approximately half an hour to an hour after eating, acidity levels decrease, and your tooth enamel re-hardens slightly. Although it may seem sensible to brush immediately after eating, wait at least half an hour before brushing to protect your teeth. In the meantime, you can rinse your mouth with plain water to get rid of acid more quickly.