Scientific background

Tooth wear

Interaction of different tooth wear processes

Dental hygiene habits can influence several types of tooth wear. For example, tooth brushing removes the acquired dental pellicle, which acts as a diffusion barrier. When brushing directly before eating or drinking, the pellicle is lost and the protection against erosion is reduced.

After 2 minutes, an early stage pellicle is already detectable again; after up to 2 hours, the pellicle is mature again (Wetton et al. 2006). Brushing immediately after dental exposure to acidic agents also favours abrasion of the softened tooth material. However, when not brushing at all, plaque accumulates and caries may develop.

The following is an example of the consequences of dental hygiene in an acidic environment:
Although it is difficult to generally define when the best time to brush teeth in an acidic environment is, to minimise the abrasion of softened enamel you can recommend patients to use a soft toothbrush and an effective erosion protection toothpaste.