• December 10, 2019
article explaining if we should brush our teeth before or after breakfast

For most people, mornings are hectic. Whether you’re responsible for getting a crew out the door on time, or just yourself, every second counts. As part of your habits for keeping teeth healthy, it’s important to brush in the morning. When time is tight, is it better to brush teeth before or after breakfast?

The answer may surprise you.

Brushing after you eat may seem like the right approach because you want to remove food particles from your teeth before taking on the day. While your motivations are right, the Mayo Clinic notes that

“If you’ve eaten an acidic food or drink, avoid brushing your teeth right away. These acids weaken tooth enamel, and brushing too soon can remove enamel.”

Mayo Clinic

Acidic foods include breakfast favorites such as orange juice, milk, grains, sugar and coffee.

The better bet is to brush and floss your teeth shortly after you get up before you eat or drink anything. Saliva production slows down while we sleep, enabling the amount of bacteria in our mouths to increase (morning breath, anyone?!). The plaque that coats your teeth is teeming with bacteria that converts sugar and carbohydrates into acids that attack tooth enamel and gums.

Brushing before breakfast helps remove plaque before it can cause long-lasting harm.

What about coffee breath? While it’s tempting to brush after enjoying the morning cup of joe to counteract the smell, the acid in coffee can damage enamel if you brush too soon. Instead, fill up your portable water bottle before leaving the house and wash away the telltale smell.

It is still a good idea to brush after every meal if possible, including breakfast. The best strategy is to wait for about 30 minutes. In the morning, it’s unlikely you can wait that long between eating and leaving the house.

Packing a toothbrush, paste and floss in your purse, briefcase or workout bag is a great way to be prepared to clean your mouth when the time is right, wherever you are.

Of course, regular professional dental care is also needed to maintain good oral health. Are you looking for a dentist near Joliet? Be sure to call Shorewood Family Dental Care at 815-725-5991 or book an appointment online.