Should you brush before or after breakfast?
Updated: Jul 16, 2019
Ah yes, the age-old debate.
It probably comes to no surprise that there are pros and cons to both sides of the coin and if you ask 10 dentists, you might very well just get 10 different answers (That is - you'll get 2 main answers - either "before breakfast" or "after breakfast" - but you might get 10 different reasons!)
So, here are some arguments for both sides.
Experience bad morning breath? You might want to brush before breakfast so you don't lose your appetite! You might not want to offend family members with your terrible morning breath either!
If you have acidic foods/beverages for breakfast, brushing immediately after can strip away the enamel over time.
You can remove some of the bad oral bacteria that have multiplied during the night before you have your first meal. That way, they won't get a chance to feed on any sugars you consume.
Ain't nobody got time to eat breakfast, wait 30 minutes and then go brush their teeth. Who has that kind of time?
Orange juice tastes funny after toothpaste, so if this'll be something that bothers you, then after-breakfast-brushing may be for you.
Regarding the acidic foods/beverages for breakfast - urmmmm, if you don't end up brushing it off, won't the acid stay on your teeth and ruin your enamel that way? It might be a good idea to have breakfast, wait 30 minutes, then go brush your teeth.
Same with a high carbohydrate/high sugar breakfast - do you really want the bacteria in your mouth eating these, then releasing acids onto your teeth (which will again, harm enamel/create cavities)? Probably not. Go ahead and choose after-breakfast-brushing - especially if you have a tendency towards getting dental decay.
If you have a pungent breakfast, you might want to brush afterwards so you don't offend anyone with your coffee breath. Or your garlic breath. Or your onion breath. Or...your donut breath.
If you're wearing dental appliances during the day - for example, aligner trays, you might want to brush before you wear 'em - you know, so you don't trap food particles between the spaces of your aligners and your teeth. That sounds like a recipe for decay!
Same with traditional braces - food can easily get trapped in the brackets and wires and if you're not diligent with removing food pieces away from these high-risk areas, at the time you have your ortho gear removed, you may be unpleasantly surprised by a number of new cavities.
Well, THAT did not make things easier....like at all. Perhaps we should get into the habit of brushing before and after, LOL. We kid! Because overbrushing is also a real thing and can harm your teeth and gums - especially if you have a heavy hand. It can lead to sensitive teeth and you can actually slough away your gums too.
So choose to brush your teeth before or after your breakfast - and always remember to floss - we're just happy that you do both!