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Brushing teeth before or after breakfast: which is the best choice?

Brushing teeth before or after breakfast: which is the best choice?

Created: October 1, 2022 | Updated: March 22, 2024

A good breakfast is essential for a healthy start to the day. But what is the best way to take care of your teeth: do you brush them before or after breakfast? Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, which we discuss in this blog post.

Why brushing teeth is important

Tooth brushing is crucial for maintaining healthy teeth. By brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, you remove plaque and bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gingivitis.

Benefits of brushing teeth before breakfast

  • Removes bacteria from the night: After a night’s sleep, bacteria have gathered in the mouth. Brushing before breakfast removes these bacteria and prevents them from feasting on the sugars in your breakfast.
  • Protects against acids: Acidic foods and drinks can attack tooth enamel. Brushing before breakfast helps protect your teeth from these acids.

Disadvantages of brushing teeth before breakfast

  • Does not remove plaque formed during breakfast:Brushing before breakfast does not remove plaque formed during breakfast.
  • Can damage tooth enamel: Brushing on an acidic stomach can damage tooth enamel. This is especially relevant after eating acidic foods.

Benefits of brushing teeth after breakfast

  • Removes food debris and bacteria: By brushing after breakfast, you remove food debris and bacteria that have accumulated while eating.
  • Neutralises acids: Brushing after breakfast helps neutralise acids that can attack tooth enamel.

Brushing teeth before or after breakfast

Disadvantages of brushing teeth after breakfast

  • Can damage tooth enamel: Brushing immediately after eating acidic foods can damage tooth enamel. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing.
  • Does not remove bacteria from the night: Brushing after breakfast does not remove bacteria formed during the night.

Brushing teeth before or after breakfast

Brush your teeth before or after breakfast? Both methods have pros and cons. 1 The best choice depends on your priorities. If you want to remove bacteria from the night and protect your teeth from acids, brushing before breakfast is a good option. If you are more focused on removing food debris and bacteria after eating, then brushing after breakfast is the better choice. However, according to authoritative oral health organisations, it is better to brush your teeth after every meal. Brushing teeth after breakfast is therefore a standard recommended activity. By doing so, you remove food debris, neutralise acids and eliminate bacteria and other microorganisms that cause tooth decay and cavities.

Tips for optimal oral hygiene

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use a soft or medium toothbrush.
  • Floss or use dental floss at least once a day.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a check-up and professional cleaning.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for information and does not replace professional medical advice. When in doubt, always consult your dentist.

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Related Trusted Sources

  • 1. Sahoo SR, Nandini DB, Basandi PS, Selvamani M, Donoghue M. A Comparison of Pre- and Postbreakfast Tooth Brushing in Caries Prevention through the Estimation of Streptococcus mutans Counts: A Prospective Clinical and Microbiological Study. J Microsc Ultrastruct. 2022 May 23;10(4):168-173. doi: 10.4103/jmau.jmau_90_21. PMID: 36687322; PMCID: PMC9846921.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9846921/

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Frequently asked questions

It is best to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after breakfast. Also, try flossing your teeth at least once a day. If you can't manage to brush your teeth after a meal during the day, use a rinse with fluoride. Don't forget your tongue while brushing your teeth.

It depends on the type of food. After eating sweet foods, it is advisable to brush your teeth immediately. However, if you eat or drink acidic foods, such as citrus fruits or juices, wait about 30 minutes before brushing.

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Trusted Source

National Center for Biotechnology Information

The National Center for Biotechnology Information promotes science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.

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