Dental hygiene: Should you brush your teeth before or after breakfast?

Do you brush your teeth before or after breakfast? You may think it doesn’t make a difference, but experts say otherwise.

We’re all aware that we should be brushing our teeth at least twice a day, for a full two minutes each. That’s dentist-recommended advice that is never argued with. However, everyone seems to have a different opinion of when you should be brushing your teeth, particularly in the morning.

Before breakfast

When it comes to brushing, it looks like most experts do recommend brushing before breakfast.

There are several reasons as to why it’s more beneficial to get this tedious task done before digging into the first meal of the day. By brushing your teeth first thing in the morning, you'll clear out all the bacteria that has been accumulating in your mouth throughout the night.

However, not only will this take out morning breath and the funny taste in your mouth, it’ll also coat your teeth with enamel that will protect it from the acid that is usually found in breakfast foods like coffee, orange juice, fruits, and bread.

Niall Sloan, lead dentist at Sloan Dental, explains that acidic foods can soften the enamel and increase the risk of toothbrush abrasion if you brush after eating breakfast. He wrote:

If you consume acidic foods or drinks they can soften your enamel and make you teeth more vulnerable to toothbrush abrasion if you brush immediately afterwards.
Toothbrush abrasion and erosion are becoming increasingly common so we need to pay greater mind. Scrubbing on your teeth right after your enamel has been softened up by something like OJ will lead to toothbrush abrasion and increased sensitivity of your teeth.

After breakfast

Although the cons of brushing after breakfast do outweigh the pros, some dentists still advise their patients to brush afterwards to get rid of any food debris which could eventually cause cavities.

So if you’re one of those people who cannot stand drinking orange juice with the taste of fluoride in your mouth, you can certainly opt to brush your teeth after breakfast. Just make sure to wait at least 30 to 60 minutes after eating so that you don’t harm the enamel of your teeth.

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