January 26, 2023

Do You Brush Your Teeth Before or After Breakfast?

Brush Your Teeth

There are two main camps when it comes to morning brushing: Those who wake up thinking, “Ew, I gotta get this sticky stuff off my teeth right now,” and those who figure they might as well wait until after breakfast to brush away the crumbs. Whichever camp you’re in, you may not have put much thought into when you brush your teeth each morning. But it turns out, it matters.

When to brush your teeth in the morning

You brush your teeth once in the morning and once at night. Those guidelines established by the American Dental Association have been in place for what seems like forever, and they’re the bare minimum for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. However, the twice-a-day rule doesn’t tell you anything about timing. Brushing after breakfast, instead of before, means your teeth are free of food particles for more of the day, which means the bacteria in your mouth have less time to metabolize sugars and cause cavities or enamel decay. If, however, you consume acidic foods or beverages for breakfast, it may be better to brush before breakfast. Brushing your teeth after consuming something acidic, such as coffee or fruit, can harm the enamel of your teeth. For this reason, the American Dental Association recommends waiting 60 minutes after eating those foods to brush your teeth. If you don’t have time to wait around for an hour to brush after breakfast (for instance, if you eat on the way to work), swish with water so food doesn’t stay lodged between the teeth and drinks that have staining potential don’t sit there all day.

What about coffee?

Another way to prevent staining is to drink all your coffee for the day in one sitting rather than sipping on multiple small cups throughout the day. The consistent sipping promotes constant acid exposure and the increased risk of staining potential since the teeth don’t have an opportunity to recover throughout the day.


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