Hygienist’s warning to anyone who brushes teeth straight after snacking on chocolate

By Staff 5 Min Read

If you want to make sure your teeth and mouth are in tip-top condition, a dental therapist and hygienist has given her top tips about when is best to clean your teeth after consuming sugary treats

With Easter just around the corner, Brits are getting ready to binge on chocolate eggs and sugary treats – which is bad news for your teeth.

It’s no surprise that sweets and chocolates aren’t given out at the dentist due to their high sugar content, which lead to issues like decay and worn down enamel. Of course, indulging in a little choccie whilst maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is fine – but a common mistake could make things worse. This is even more important considering the UK’s dentist crisis – where thousands are struggling to find an NHS dentist.

Luckily, dental therapist and hygienst Amanda Sheehan has warned how to avoid rotting teeth whilst still allowing the occasional treat – and it all boils down to timings.

The expert, who works at toothpaste brand TePe, said last year that the high amount of sugar in chocolate can cause harmful plaque build-up, which can lead to cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease if left on the teeth. She added: “Although eating too much chocolate can be harmful to the teeth, the good news is, cavities and gum disease are preventable, especially if we practice good oral health.”

And a way to prevent damage is by waiting to brush your teeth after eating chocolate. However, Amanda recommended waiting at least half an hour before brushing your teeth after eating anything containing acid or sugar, such as a chocolate egg, to maintain strong enamel.

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She also insists that people clean their teeth before bedtime, as “the production of saliva is reduced at night, which lowers the saliva’s effectiveness in neutralising the acids produced by lingering plaque.” Amanda recommends an “everything in moderation” approach when it comes to foods that could potentially damage teeth.

According to NHS guidelines, adults should consume no more than 30 grams of free sugars a day – that is sugars that are added to food or drinks and often found in chocolate, biscuits, fizzy drinks, as well as foods such as honey, syrups, fruit juices, and smoothies. She also recommends waiting to eat chocolate after mealtimes, giving the mouth enough time to recover its acidity levels.

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