If you have an eating disorder which makes you force yourself to vomit following a meal, your dental health may be the last thing on your mind. In fact, you might be focusing on how to overcome the eating disorder itself. In the meantime, the content of your stomach passes out of your mouth and your teeth will be exposed to very strong stomach acids. These acids can increase the rate at which your teeth decay. Read on to discover some top tips which will help you to protect your teeth while you are overcoming an eating disorder.
Wait a while before brushing
Once you have been sick, your first instinct may be to reach for your toothbrush and toothpaste so you can remove the horrid taste from your mouth. However, doing this right after you have finished vomiting could be a mistake. As soon as your teeth are exposed to stomach acid, the outer layer of each tooth begins to soften. If you vigorously brush your teeth immediately after vomiting, you could damage the softened outer layer of enamel on your teeth.
Instead, you should rinse your mouth out with water and wait a little while before brushing as this will allow the enamel on your teeth to harden. For even better results, you may wish to use a fluoride mouthwash instead of water. The flavouring in the mouthwash will help to remove the unpleasant taste from your mouth while also helping to neutralise any acid on the surface of your teeth.
Don't continue to use your old toothbrush
If you have an eating disorder, it is a good idea to stock up on fresh toothbrushes. There is a good chance that the toothbrush used to clean your teeth following vomiting is now covered in germs, bacteria and acid. If you continue to use this brush you could infect yourself with germs which cause you to become unwell. Even if you don't make yourself ill, using the unclean brush could result in bacteria being introduced into your mouth which could damage your teeth and gums. So, remember, every time you vomit, you should use a new toothbrush to clean your teeth which should then be disposed of.
If you would like further advice and information about how to maintain your dental health when you are living with an eating disorder, you should contact your local dentist today. If you are worried that stomach acids have damaged your teeth, book an appointment as soon as possible for a check-up. You can also ask them if they can recommend you to other specialists who can address your eating disorder itself.