We Asked A Doc: Should You Brush And Floss After Every Meal?

Large Editorial Image


October 23, 2016

Everything you thought you knew about brushing and flossing your teeth is probably all wrong.

Since childhood, it’s been drilled into our heads that we must brush and floss at least twice daily to avoid cavities and other dental problems. Since so many of us are eating several meals–including sweet desserts, cocktails, and candy–on the go, our one burning question is whether it’s actually necessary to brush after every single meal. Well, hold onto your hat because it turns out most of us are even more vigilant than we need to be when it comes to our teeth.

“If done properly, brushing once a day and flossing once a day is more than enough,” says Dr. Agustin Drubi, founder of Drubi Orthodontics in Hialeah, Fla. “I personally brush once in the morning, once at night, and floss at night. It’s important to not eat or drink anything other than water after flossing and brushing at night so that bacteria don’t stay on your teeth all night. Technically speaking, not brushing or flossing for a few days should not cause any problems as long as you remove everything when you do. But since most people are not good at flossing with the proper technique, dentists recommend it more often to increase the chances of cleaning the most areas. There is also bad breath, which is why most people brush (but most don’t brush the tongue all the way to the back, which is what causes most bad breath).”

As for our question about whether it’s recommended that we hit the bathroom at work the second after we polish off our lunch, Drubi says a better approach would be to wait and let your body’s natural defense system take care of your teeth first.

“Brushing right after every meal can actually be bad for your teeth,” Drubi says. “Right after you eat, your mouth is in an acidic state because of foods you just ate, and this weakens enamel. So brushing right after can damage teeth because they’re more sensitive. I usually wait around 1 hour after any meal if I’m going to brush after one. This gives a chance for saliva to clean your mouth and get rids of the acidic environment.”

Of course, regular dental maintenance at home will work best if you visit your dentist for a cleaning every 6-12 months. And checking out a YouTube video on how to properly floss your teeth will always help you up your dental game.

For more beauty tips, check out is coffee, tea, or wine worse for your teeth? and 4 ways to prevent red wine from staining your teeth.

Follow me at @lisacfogarty on Twitter.

 

Shop toothbrush

More toothbrush | 3 of 979 »

Fiona Toothbrush Holder by

Labrazel

Buy Now

Modern Angles Toothbrush Holder Bedding by

Creative Bath

Buy Now

Seagulls Toothbrush Holder Bedding by

Avanti

Buy Now




  • The Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette Is Crazy Beautiful-- See It To Believe It

    The Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette Is Crazy Beautiful-- See It To Believe It

    Beauty

    today

  • Weekend Project: Make Your Own Chemical Free Shampoo (It's Really Easy!)

    Weekend Project: Make Your Own Chemical Free Shampoo (It's Really Easy!)

    Beauty

    today

  • Move Over PSL! Starbucks Has A New Fall Latte & It's Amazing

    Move Over PSL! Starbucks Has A New Fall Latte & It's Amazing

    today

  • Drop Everything: Rihanna Just Announced There's ANOTHER Fenty Beauty Collection On The Way!

    Drop Everything: Rihanna Just Announced There's ANOTHER Fenty Beauty Collection On The Way!

    Beauty

    today

  • Shop The Prettiest Shoes With Bow Details For Fall Now

    Shop The Prettiest Shoes With Bow Details For Fall Now

    Shop

    today

  • HURRY: These Eyeshadow Palettes Are Finally Back In Stock (There's A 16K Waitlist!!!)

    HURRY: These Eyeshadow Palettes Are Finally Back In Stock (There's A 16K Waitlist!!!)

    Beauty

    today

  • THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Nicki Minaj x MAC Is Here--Plus 24 Bonus Nudes

    THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Nicki Minaj x MAC Is Here--Plus 24 Bonus Nudes

    Beauty

    today

  • Weekend Project: How To Make Your Own Tinted Lip Balm

    Weekend Project: How To Make Your Own Tinted Lip Balm

    Beauty

    1 day

  • Tons Of Super Cute Boots, Booties And Fall Shoes Are An Extra 20% Off At Gilt This Weekend

    Tons Of Super Cute Boots, Booties And Fall Shoes Are An Extra 20% Off At Gilt This Weekend

    Style

    1 day

  • Once And For All, Here's How To Untwist Elastic Under Fabric

    Once And For All, Here's How To Untwist Elastic Under Fabric

    Style

    1 day

  • Target Is Releasing A New Athleisure Line & You're Going To Want It All

    Target Is Releasing A New Athleisure Line & You're Going To Want It All

    1 day

  • Hold Up--People Can Now Record Your Snapchats With This New IOS 11 Feature

    Hold Up--People Can Now Record Your Snapchats With This New IOS 11 Feature

    1 day

  • People Are Just Now Realizing What Rihanna's Last Name Is & Their Reactions Are Hilarious

    People Are Just Now Realizing What Rihanna's Last Name Is & Their Reactions Are Hilarious

    Celebrity

    1 day

  • Grey Booties Are Trending Big Time For Fall--Get A Pair ASAP

    Grey Booties Are Trending Big Time For Fall--Get A Pair ASAP

    Style

    1 day

  • We're Giving Away 100 Portable Chargers From Toddy Gear #YoureWelcome

    We're Giving Away 100 Portable Chargers From Toddy Gear #YoureWelcome

    Style

    2 days

  • Here's How To Rock A Nude Shoe With Any Outfit

    Here's How To Rock A Nude Shoe With Any Outfit

    Style

    2 days

  • We Found The Most Bizarre Fanny Pack Ever & You Have To See It To Believe It (It's Got Hair On It!)

    We Found The Most Bizarre Fanny Pack Ever & You Have To See It To Believe It (It's Got Hair On It!)

    Style

    2 days

  • Balmain x L'Oréal Lipsticks Are Here--And We've Got Swatches!

    Balmain x L'Oréal Lipsticks Are Here--And We've Got Swatches!

    Beauty

    2 days

  • Need A New Look For Fall? Check Out These Cool Asymmetric Hairstyle Ideas

    Need A New Look For Fall? Check Out These Cool Asymmetric Hairstyle Ideas

    Beauty

    2 days

  • Your Fall Wardrobe Isn't Complete Without Burgundy--Shop Our Favorite Pieces Now

    Your Fall Wardrobe Isn't Complete Without Burgundy--Shop Our Favorite Pieces Now

    Shop

    2 days

  • 6 Willing Beauty Products Every Woman Must Own

    6 Willing Beauty Products Every Woman Must Own

    Beauty

    2 days

  • Start Your Day Off Right With These Healthy Breakfast Ideas #WellnessWednesday

    Start Your Day Off Right With These Healthy Breakfast Ideas #WellnessWednesday

    2 days

  • We're Giving Away 10 Pairs Of Chooka Rain Boots--Enter Now For Your Chance To Win!

    We're Giving Away 10 Pairs Of Chooka Rain Boots--Enter Now For Your Chance To Win!

    Style

    3 days

  • This Huge Topshop Announcement Has Our Wallet's Singing

    This Huge Topshop Announcement Has Our Wallet's Singing

    Style

    3 days

  • We Did The Shopping For You: Here’s Everything You Need From Victoria Beckham’s New Collection With Estée Lauder

    We Did The Shopping For You: Here’s Everything You Need From Victoria Beckham’s New Collection With Estée Lauder

    Beauty

    3 days

  • Forever 21 Just Got An Epic New Makeover & We're Obsessed

    Forever 21 Just Got An Epic New Makeover & We're Obsessed

    Beauty

    3 days

  • Once And For All, Here's The Simple Way To Remove Long-Wear Lipstick #SHEfindsSolutions

    Once And For All, Here's The Simple Way To Remove Long-Wear Lipstick #SHEfindsSolutions

    Beauty

    3 days

  • Upgrade Your Look (And Stay Warm!) With These Must-Have Fall Jackets

    Upgrade Your Look (And Stay Warm!) With These Must-Have Fall Jackets

    Style

    3 days

  • SHEfinds x AHALife: The Ultimate Fall 2017 Accessories Guide

    SHEfinds x AHALife: The Ultimate Fall 2017 Accessories Guide

    4 days

  • These Pics Prove That Fenty Foundation Looks Good On Literally Everyone

    These Pics Prove That Fenty Foundation Looks Good On Literally Everyone

    Beauty

    4 days

  • Beauty Launches That NEED To Be On Your Radar This Month

    Is This The Best Birchbox Ever??

    Beauty

    7 days

  • Kylie Jenner Might Be PREGNANT & We're Freaking Out!!!

    Kylie Jenner Might Be PREGNANT & We're Freaking Out!!!

    Celebrity

    today

  • Your Hair Actually May Be AGING You, According To A Hairstylist

    Your Hair Actually May Be AGING You, According To A Hairstylist

    Beauty

    today

  • KKW Beauty's Powder Contour & Highlight Kits Are Back In Stock -- Get Them Before They're Gone!

    KKW Beauty's Powder Contour & Highlight Kits Are Back In Stock -- Get Them Before They're Gone!

    Beauty

    today

  • The Best iPhone 8 Cases You Need To Buy Right Now

    The Best iPhone 8 Cases You Need To Buy Right Now

    Shop

    today

  • Here's Everything You Need From Beyoncé's New Ivy Park Collection (They're Under $100!)

    Here's Everything You Need From Beyoncé's New Ivy Park Collection (They're Under $100!)

    Celebrity

    today

  • Here's What Our Editors Have In Their Nordstrom Shopping Carts Right Now

    Here's What Our Editors Have In Their Nordstrom Shopping Carts Right Now

    Style

    1 day

  • 5 Cheap Natural Anti-Aging Serums Dermatologists Swear By

    5 Cheap Natural Anti-Aging Serums Dermatologists Swear By

    Beauty

    1 day

  • The One Drugstore Face Wash You Should Stop Using, According To A Dermatologist

    The One Drugstore Face Wash You Should Stop Using, According To A Dermatologist

    Beauty

    1 day

  • The 2-Second Trick For Distressing Your Jeans

    The 2-Second Trick For Distressing Your Jeans

    Style

    1 day

  • 3 Easy Tricks For Breaking In A New Leather Jacket

    3 Easy Tricks For Breaking In A New Leather Jacket

    Style

    1 day

  • We Did The Shopping For You: Here’s Everything You Need From Fenty Beauty By Rihanna

    We Did The Shopping For You: Here’s Everything You Need From Fenty Beauty By Rihanna

    Beauty

    1 day

  • 5 Sephora Weekly Wow Items To Buy Before They're Crazy Expensive Again

    5 Sephora Weekly Wow Items To Buy Before They're Crazy Expensive Again

    Beauty

    2 days

  • How To Take Nail Polish Off Without Nail Polish Remover

    How To Take Nail Polish Off Without Nail Polish Remover

    Beauty

    2 days

  • The One Drugstore Foundation You Should Stop Using, According To A Dermatologist

    The One Drugstore Foundation You Should Stop Using, According To A Dermatologist

    Beauty

    2 days

  • 5 Target Home Products Every Woman Should Own

    5 Target Home Products Every Woman Should Own

    Style

    2 days

  • Ben Affleck's Girlfriend Lindsay Shookus Might Be Pregnant & We're Freaking Out!

    Ben Affleck's Girlfriend Lindsay Shookus Might Be Pregnant & We're Freaking Out!

    Celebrity

    2 days

  • Here's Everything You Need To DIY A 'GLOW' Halloween Costume

    Here's Everything You Need To DIY A 'GLOW' Halloween Costume

    Style

    2 days

  • Everything In This New Makeup Line Is Under $8 & We're Freaking Out!

    Everything In This New Makeup Line Is Under $8 & We're Freaking Out!

    Beauty

    2 days

  • The Kardashian-Jenners Just Recreated The KUWTK Intro & It Will Make You Feel Old AF

    The Kardashian-Jenners Just Recreated The KUWTK Intro & It Will Make You Feel Old AF

    Celebrity

    2 days

  • The One Thing You Should Know When Deciding Between An iPhone X And iPhone 8, According To An Expert

    The One Thing You Should Know When Deciding Between An iPhone X And iPhone 8, According To An Expert

    Shop

    2 days

  • 5 Essie Polish Colors Every Woman Should Own

    5 Essie Polish Colors Every Woman Should Own

    Beauty

    3 days

  • The Right Way To Get Fuller Brows (It's Not Microblading)

    The Right Way To Get Fuller Brows (It's Not Microblading)

    Beauty

    3 days