Should You Brush Teeth Before Or After Breakfast?

Brush teeth before or after breakfast? Science says before. Image credit: Try_my_best / Shutterstock.com

Being alive comes with a lot of maintenance and brushing our teeth is one of the first chores on the human’s checklist for keeping healthy. However, morning is also a crucial time for eating in order to support metabolic health – so, should you brush teeth before or after breakfast?

The answer is a sobering reminder that science doesn’t always compliment breakfast. Toothpaste contains sodium laureth sulfate that helps the paste form a foam for better reach. Unfortunately, it also suppresses your taste buds’ reception of sweet flavors while simultaneously breaking down fatty molecules that block bitter flavors. So, while getting minty before downing some orange juice might not appeal to the palate, brushing before breakfast is considered best.

Should you brush teeth before or after breakfast?

Brushing teeth before breakfast: In the case of before VS after for brushing your teeth, the evidence leans largely towards before. This is because you want to have the healthiest environment in your mouth before you begin monching on foods and drinks which could upset your enamel or gums.

While we are sleeping the bacteria in our mouth are hard at work multiplying, which is why we sometimes wake to the joy of “morning breath”. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste can help get rid of your unwelcome mouth guests and coat your enamel with an extra protective layer. This is important because modern-day diets can erode your enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to infection and decay.

By brushing your teeth before you eat your breakfast you have returned your teeth and gums to a happy, healthy condition so they’re ready to face whatever you chuck in there. Brushing can also kick-start saliva: fluid produced in the mouth which helps to break down food and maintain a healthy environment in the mouth.

Help! I’ve already eaten, should I brush now?

Brushing teeth after breakfast: Regular brushing is key to oral health so having succumbed to a breakfast croissant is no reason to forgo brushing altogether, but having a break between eating and brushing is best. This is because acid in food can temporarily weaken your enamel so if you go and fiercely scrub your teeth you may remove the good as well as the bad.

If you want to brush after eating, it’s best to initially wash your mouth out with plain water and then wait 30 minutes (or 60 if you ate something especially acidic) before grabbing your toothbrush.

So, anxious breakfast-eating tooth brushers: Reduce your risk of tooth decay before you reach for your Special K! (Sorry, not sorry.)

On the subject of minty freshness, ever wondered why mint tastes cold?

All “explainer” articles are confirmed by fact checkers to be correct at time of publishing. Text, images, and links may be edited, removed, or added to at a later date to keep information current.

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