Dr. Brian Kantor, cosmetic dentist of Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor in New York City, says that brushing your teeth right after eating anything acidic or high in sugar is bad for your enamel. “Foods with low pH levels—acidic foods like citrus fruits and juices—are especially bad,” he says. “We should also be wary of sugary foods that can stick to your teeth and remain in your mouth even after brushing, such as sucking candies, can do a lot of damage over a short period of time.”
These foods soften your tooth enamel, so when you brush right after eating them it can wear it down. “Rinsing with water after you eat or drink anything acidic is a great way to remove food particles and harmful acidic materials from your mouth.” To be safe, he recommends waiting 30 minutes after eating these foods before brushing if you’re the kind of person who brushes post-eating.
“It is important to remember that your saliva is one of the biggest defenses against tooth erosion and cavities,” he adds. “Let your body do what it was programmed to do first and neutralize what you eat, and then brush.”