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Bad Bacteria & Healthy Bacteria

Posted Jan 30 2010 12:00am
Dear Dr. Ellie:

I assume it's not necessary to brush teeth after every meal once the bad bacteria have been crowded out by the healthy ones and have taken residence in the mouth?

When you say to leave Act in the mouth as long as possible, do you mean before spitting it out or after spitting it out and before eating and drinking anything ?


Hi PG,
Thanks for your message.

If you end a meal with an alkaline food (like dairy, cheese fresh celery, carrots ) - no further action is needed!

Xylitol mints or gum is of course a perfect ending to a meal - so brushing is not needed.

Plaque bacteria take 12 hours to grow on teeth - so brushing every 12 hours is enough.
More than this may do more harm than good - this is my message.

Besides, at work many people use toothbrushes that have been fermenting in a bag or purse or stored in a common area restroom (ugh!!)

If you just drank a coffee or soda at the end of the meal, your mouth would be acidic. Then brushing with toothpaste can abrade away enamel and make your teeth sensitive and weak. If you use whitening or tartar control toothpaste - your chances of this are great because these pastes are so abrasive.

The longer ACT has to work with your teeth - the greater the healing. ACT should be rinsed for at least a minute or two before spitting out. Spit out well - two or three times to get all the globs of rinse out! Now it is preferable not to eat or drink for as long as possible - so the residue in the dents and crevices of your teeth can continue to work their healing magic!

Hope this answers your questions,
26 Corporate Woods
Rochester, NY 14623
(585) 272-1270
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