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Brushing Before vs. After Breakfast — When’s The Perfect Time To Brush Your Teeth?

Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels

Everyone agrees it’s important to brush their teeth twice per day. However, there are still a few questions over when to bust out that toothbrush–especially in the morning. While it may seem best to brush away all those icky scraps of breakfast, recent research suggests that’s not the case. Indeed, most dentists say it’s far better to brush your teeth first thing in the morning.

The reason for this is twofold. First, brushing before breakfast gives your enamel a “mini shield” to prevent damage from acidic foods (we’re looking at you, OJ!). Secondly, a pre-breakfast brushing session will naturally increase saliva. Not only does this help get rid of stinky morning breath, but it will also get those digestive juices flowing. 

If you brush immediately after breakfast, there’s a greater chance you could cause slight damage to your teeth’s enamel. Your teeth need at least 30 minutes to recover from all the acids and sugars in your morning meal. Believe it or not, brushing your teeth too soon may cause more harm than good. 

While brushing before breakfast is the preferred choice, there are a few ways to make your post-breakfast habit a bit healthier. Most significantly, dentists recommend waiting 30 minutes after your meal before brushing. This should give your enamel enough time to heal from all those yummy hashbrowns. You should also chew ADA-approved gum immediately after breakfast to clear away any lingering gunk. 

Whether you prefer brushing before or after breakfast, be sure to brush at least twice per day for two minutes each time. And, yes, you do need to floss once per night for optimal oral health! 

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