How Long After Brushing Teeth Can I Eat? (+Tips)

If you’ve just brushed your teeth but find yourself hungry or snack-ish again, you may be wondering just how long you have to wait to eat after brushing your teeth!

We’ve all been there, and this article will discuss the importance of understanding why you should wait at least 30 minutes after brushing your teeth before taking another bite. 

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Why you should wait at least 30 minutes before eating again
  • What you should do if you just can’t wait
  • The importance of the functioning ingredients in toothpaste that promote good oral health (and allowing them to work their magic).

Let’s jump in! 

Why Is It Important To Wait To Eat After Brushing?

Toothpaste has many functions and benefits, and although in its simplest form it serves to clean teeth, a key important function lies in its protective aspects that happen after you have brushed!

Some of the ingredients in typical toothpaste (such as fluoride, n-Ha, etc.) serve as protection after you have brushed. It can help protect the enamel on your teeth from abrasion that happens when you eat foods with high acidity. 

If we look for a good toothpaste ingredient, n-Ha toothpaste is just as effective as fluoride in protecting your teeth. But it's much safer overall, for you and especially for kids. Multiple gold-standard studies have shown that hydroxyapatite works just as well or better than fluoride as an anti-caries agent.

pH is a concept that is often used to describe how your mouth functions. pH is the naturally acidic or basic level of a substance, and acidic foods can change the pH of your mouth as well – affecting your oral health and leaving the teeth vulnerable to erosion. 

Because of this, eating too quickly after brushing could wash away any ingredients put in place to protect your teeth over a number of hours before they have had a chance to settle and work. 

Acidic foods and beverages can also soften the enamel, which is exposed after brushing. The saliva in your mouth can naturally restore this pH level and make your teeth less vulnerable if you simply wait a while after brushing. 

For all of these reasons, it is easy to see why waiting at least 30 minutes has great benefits for your teeth! 

If you don’t wait – what happens? As previously mentioned, eating or drinking too soon could wash away the protective layer provided by ingredients in the toothpaste. 

If you don't wait, the enamel gets weak when brushing, and chewing anything hard can harm the teeth and enamel.

This leaves your teeth more vulnerable to acidic foods and beverages, which could increase the risk of erosion.

Waiting helps to maximize fluoride protection, reduce acid damage to teeth, prevent enamel erosion, and maintain overall oral hygiene. 

What Should I Do If I Can't Wait To Eat After Brushing?

Sometimes. we just don’t all have the time to wait after brushing our teeth to eat!

Where possible, try to eat before brushing your teeth so that the toothpaste can take full effect. 

For when there’s no other alternative, here are some methods for you to keep in mind if you can’t wait 30 minutes after brushing: 

Rinse mouth with water

After brushing and before eating, rinse out your mouth with water to remove any excess toothpaste. 

Although we are trying not to wash away the protective layer on our teeth, ingesting excessive fluoride is not ideal either. 

Fluoride in toothpaste or mouthwash is not meant to be swallowed in high concentrations, which is why we spit it out after brushing. In cases of ingestion, a condition called fluorosis may result – shown by white or brown speckles on your teeth. Because of this, many non-fluoridated toothpastes, especially n-Ha containing toothpastes are available in the market. 

So, make sure to always give a quick rinse before eating to minimize this possibility!

Use mouthwash

If you don’t brush your teeth again after eating, try using a fluoride or hydroxyapatite mouthwash instead. Doing so will provide an extra protective layer on your teeth.

This protective layer adheres to the enamel and promotes good oral health by keeping your teeth protected from highly acidic foods for longer. However, you have to give it a chance to form this layer.

However, if you’re looking for a fluoride-free alternative, you may want to give Boka’s innovative mouthwash tablets a try. 

Formulated with hydroxyapatite rather than fluoride, these tablets are just as effective for remineralizing teeth and restoring your oral microbiome through the use of probiotics. Not to mention – they give you something to chew on!

Choose low-acid foods

In the event that you do eat directly after brushing, try to choose foods that aren’t highly acidic so your teeth are at lower risk for enamel erosion. Acidic foods soften the teeth temporarily, allowing for erosion which can weaken your teeth and cause sensitivity over time. 

Some examples of low-acid foods include vegetables, grains such as rice or bulgar wheat, and dairy products such as yogurt or cheese. 

Wait at least 30 minutes before eating

In most cases, you can probably wait at least 30 minutes if you really tried!

I know you may be hungry or have a difficult-to-resist sweet tooth, but it is very important to try and wait just 30 minutes. Even 20 would be beneficial! 

Give your teeth the best chance you can at protection. You’ll thank yourself later! 

FAQs 

How long should you wait to drink water after brushing your teeth? 

Unlike food, you don’t need to wait any time to drink water after brushing your teeth. 

Water has a neutral pH of 7, meaning it won’t affect the pH environment inside your mouth. It also may wash away any excess fluoride so that you’re not constantly ingesting it in between brushes. 

Is it better to brush your teeth before or after you eat? 

It is better to brush your teeth after you eat instead of before. There are many reasons why, including the idea of maintaining a good pH environment inside the mouth and avoiding rinsing off the protective layer that toothpaste provides to the teeth over time after you brush. 

Is it OK to drink milk after brushing teeth? 

Yes, it is OK to drink milk after brushing your teeth. Milk is considered to be high in calcium, which is generally good for your teeth overall. Milk is not highly acidic, and therefore won’t pose too much of a threat to your enamel. It is advisable to wait a little before drinking, but a full 30 minutes is not entirely necessary.

Is it OK to gargle water after brushing teeth? 

Yes, it is okay to gargle water after brushing your teeth. Water has a neutral pH, so it won’t affect the acidic environment as much as food and other beverages. 

Can I eat after 30 minutes brushing teeth?

Yes, you can! 30 minutes is a good amount of time to wait after brushing teeth to eat food and drink beverages. It allows enough time for your teeth to absorb the protective ingredients designed to create a layer of protection over your teeth and strengthen enamel. 

Try Boka’s Oral Care Products 

If any of this talk about fluoride and fluorosis alarms you, then it may be time to give Boka a try! 

Here at Boka, we’ve created fluoride-free, n-Ha toothpaste designed to protect teeth and promote good oral health. It is also dentist-approved, making it a good alternative to common fluoride toothpaste. 

Unlike many popular brands on supermarket shelves, Boka uses nano-hydroxyapatite in place of fluoride. 

There are many benefits to n-Ha in replacing fluoride with n-Ha in toothpaste, with one of the main ones being the elimination of the risk of fluorosis or other negative side effects that have been linked to fluoride. 

If you’re looking for a change, Boka is a great option that supports enamel strength and sensitivity! Boka toothpaste also comes in multiple fun, delicious flavors, from Orange Cream to Watermelon Mint. 

Read more about the benefits of Nano-hydroxyapatite, and take a look at our full range of oral care products here!

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