Should I Brush My Teeth Before or After Breakfast?
By Buttercup 7 Day Dental 03rd Jul 2017
Everyone knows that you are meant to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Once at night, once in the morning.
But no one really talks about whether you should do it be before or after breakfast?
We asked around to see who brushes their teeth before or after breakfast, and why:
“Before, I pass the bathroom on my way to the toaster and kettle so it just makes logical sense to brush my teeth before”
“Before, brushing my teeth is the first thing I need to sort out before getting ready. Getting rid of the horrible taste is first on my agenda”
“After, brushing is usually the final thing I do before I leave the house, otherwise I can taste my breakfast all morning”
“Afterwards! Knowing me I would leave the house with food stuck in my teeth. Also, I do not want my tea to taste minty”
It would appear that most people just slot brushing their teeth into their routine with less thought on what is better for your oral care. More thought is given to time and schedule, or how it affects the taste of their breakfast.
So is there a difference between brushing before or after breakfast? And which is better for your teeth and oral health? Let’s have a look:
Why Do We Brush Our Teeth?
The most common argument for brushing your teeth after breakfast is to get rid of the food that might be left over.
That’s why we brush our teeth right?
Well no. Not just.
Yes, removing food is important when brushing teeth, but the main reason we brush our teeth is to remove plaque.
Plaque is the sticky white film that forms on your teeth that contains millions of bacteria. If we don’t remove this by brushing, the bacteria will attack our teeth causing tooth decay and gum disease.
When we eat, the bacteria in the plaque uses the sugars from the food to produce acids that will eat away at the tooth enamel. These acids will be attacking your teeth for at least 20 minutes after you eat.
Argument for brushing your teeth before breakfast
Many experts, including the British Dental and Health Foundation, Mayo Clinic and the NHS, recommend brushing before breakfast.
There’s two notable reasons why:
Plaque builds as we sleep
Plaque forms quicker as we sleep due to there being less saliva production. So even if you brush your teeth before bed, there will still be plenty more come the morning.
Brushing before breakfast will help get rid of this buildup of plaque. Meaning that the sugars from your food won’t be able to combine with the bacteria from the plaque, to form the acid which attacks and destroys your tooth’s enamel.
If you wait until after you you eat to brush your teeth you are allowing the sugars to mix with all the plaque that’s built up over night, creating the acid that will eat away at your tooth’s enamel for at least 20 minutes after eating.
If you are thinking, I know how to solve that. I’ll just brush my teeth straight away after I’ve had my breakfast. Well that is far from being a good option…
The change of acid levels in your mouth
Eating a breakfast high in sugars and acids, for example orange juice and sugary cereal, can change the pH level in your mouth which weakens the tooth enamel.
Brushing straight after you eat can result in you scraping off the softened or weakened enamel letting the acid go even deeper into the teeth.
Also, the fluoride toothpaste you use when brushing will also give an extra protective layer against this acid attack if you have brushed before breakfast.
But if you wait until after, then the acids are in full force and the teeth are at their weakest.
Argument for brushing your teeth after breakfast
The most common reason for brushing your teeth after breakfast is to remove the food and the taste of your recently consumed food.
Experts suggest that simply rinsing your mouth with water after eating should remove any leftover food particles that might cause issue. Even better, if you have time why not floss as well.
And the taste?
If you want to get rid of the taste of your breakfast why not rinse your mouth with a little bit of mouthwash instead of water.
I would still rather brush my teeth after, it fits my routine better
If the case is that you would still rather brush your teeth after, then that is of course your call. . What is most important is that you brush your teeth twice a day, with a fluoride toothpaste.
However, it is strongly recommended that you at wait at least 30 minutes after you eat so that the pH level in your mouth can returned to normal and your teeth are restored enough to handle brushing.
Has this article changed when you will brush your teeth in the morning?
Let us know if you brushed before or after and why? Catch us on our Facebook page or comment below.