Why brushing your teeth after breakfast is wrong

The Good Life Letter 

25th March 2018

Being the nostalgic old fool that I am can sometimes lead me into trouble when I suggest revisiting the joys of my childhood.

Having a grandmother who thought it a good idea to dip my dummy in condensed milk to help soothe me to sleep was just one of the practices which would find no favour with modern parents or indeed health visitors!

Bouncing around the room listening to the power chords of Sweet, Supertramp or ELO is also sure to have my children file to have their birth certificates annulled.

But there are some things of my youth that still find a little favour, at least in their intention if not the actual fact.
For instance do you remember the advertising slogan that was used for Milky Way bars?

I can hear collective head scratching out there from most of you, but I guess some of you will recall the phrase – “The sweet you can eat between meals without ruining your appetite”.

My curmudgeonly dentist at the time insisted that whilst they may not be affecting my appetite they were causing severe damage to my teeth as he set to with his barbaric tools of trade and drilled his way into my collar bones (or at least that was what it felt like).

Maybe as a result of my Nan’s condensed milk practice I have always been blighted by a sweet tooth and take delight in a biscuit with my coffee or a pudding after a meal.

As I have always said these are the guilty pleasures and treats that make the irritations of modern life bearable and give me something to look forward to at the end of a hard day in the office...

...a man of simple pleasures!

A little while back I shared a new discovery with you that allowed me to indulge my passion for the sweeter things in life but without wrecking my appetite or my teeth into the bargain.

I thought I should give you an update on what has happened since.

This is the sweet that your teeth would choose – click here for a minty revolution

A dentist’s confection

A few months back I introduced you to Dr Heff’s Remarkable Mints, a sweet that was developed by dentists as a way to actually protect your teeth.

In the newsletter I told you how these contain extracts of green tea and other natural ingredients that help destroy plaque and strengthen the enamel on your teeth.

And they have proved to be really popular amongst readers, so much so that we are receiving orders every day from those keen to try new and tasty ways to look after their pearly whites.

One of the founders of Dr Heff’s is a dentist called Dr Toby Edwards-Lunn and he has made it a crusade to try to improve dental hygiene but also to help people better understand how to look after their teeth.

Now everyone I know will tell me the best thing to do is to brush your teeth after a meal, but Dr Edwards-Lunn says this is completely wrong, especially where breakfast is concerned.

In an article in The Daily telegraph he explained:

"If you're having acidic foods or cariogenics, you need to brush before you have them. Afterwards, your teeth will be softened," says Dr Edwards-Lunn. And that probably means changing the habit of a lifetime...

"If your breakfast contains acid or sugar, brush before breakfast and rinse your mouth out with water" he continues. "If you have sweet things, wait 45 minutes to an hour to brush." That's right: you should be brushing before breakfast, not after. That way, you eradicate the plaque from your teeth before the cereal's sugar can interact with it to produce acid and lead to decay.

Amazing isn’t it that most of us have probably been brushing away the protective enamel on our teeth every morning whilst believing we were doing the right thing.

Make the right choice for your teeth – protect them the easy way

The milk of human kindness?

One of the other things I believed was good for my teeth was to drink milk, especially at night as the calcium it contains allowed my body to build stronger bones and teeth and it did this especially effectively as I slept...

...once again the good dentist tells me that I am wrong.

"Milk is cariogenic, which means it can cause decay. Milk has massive health benefits, but should be drunk during meal times. Definitely not last thing at night, and never leave a baby with milk in a bottle for them to suck on and then go to sleep and wake up again and suck on again.”

"If you have it with cereal, you'll most likely have it with sugar as most cereals are sugared. But because it's in meal time, the advice I give to patients is, if you're having sugar, having it at those three meal times is the best time, because you have loads of that natural saliva buffering everything."

So there you have it, yet more things learned in my childhood that I assumed to be right have been proven to be false.

But one thing I am now convinced of was that I was right to introduce you to these mints, and so is my dentist.

On my most recent visit she actually remarked for the first time in a decade that my teeth were looking good and that there was no need to see the hygienist as long as I could keep them in such pristine order.

Well thanks to Dr Heff I don’t think that I will struggle with that too much, and taking on board the new advice from Dr Edwards-Lunn I might be in a position to get a gold star at my next check up...

She definitely won’t give me a lollipop like my Gran did when I was a good boy that is for certain!

Boost your dental health in a most enjoyable way – Dr Heff’s Remarkable Mints

Yours, as always




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