You probably already know the American Dental Association’s long recommendation about brushing your teeth, which is twice a day for 2 minutes. But these guidelines don’t tell you when, exactly, you should do the brushing. People often ask us whether they should brush their teeth before or after breakfast.
Most people brush their teeth at the same time each day to establish a regular dental hygiene habit. Brushing every morning and night seems to be the standard for many of us. But if you brush your teeth at the wrong time of your morning routine, it can harm your oral health.
In this blog, we will address the right time to brush your teeth every morning so you can get the most out of your cleaning habit. Let’s get started!
Why is it better to brush your teeth before breakfast?
If you brush your teeth before breakfast, you can help avoid bacteria and plaque from going in your breakfast. People who brush after having their first meal of the day have a better chance of mixing bacteria with their milk, cereal, orange juice, and coffee.
While you sleep, bacteria in your mouth multiply, and that’s why you wake up with a morning breath and a mossy taste. Washing those bacteria with fluoride toothpaste is a good idea before eating anything. This is because the fluoride will coat your enamel with a protective layer against acid in your breakfast.
Plus, brushing teeth before breakfast will jump-start your saliva production, which is essential to break down food and naturally eliminate harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Why shouldn’t you brush your teeth after breakfast?
You should never brush your teeth immediately after eating. The natural bacteria in your mouth get mixed with food particles whenever you eat or drink something. And when you brush your teeth right after eating food, you unintentionally scrub the acid around with a toothbrush in your mouth. This multiplies the effect of acid produced by bacteria.
That’s why dental hygienists advise refraining from frequently snacking throughout the day.
Can I still brush my teeth after breakfast?
If brushing after breakfast works better for your morning routine, you can still do so but with a precaution. Acids are generally active for 30 minutes each time you eat or drink. Therefore, you should wait for 30-60 minutes after having breakfast and then brush your teeth. This way, you minimize the risk of scrubbing the acids around in your mouth as you brush and prevent enamel damage.
How to brush your teeth?
Brushing your teeth with a proper technique is as important, if not more, as “when” you should brush your teeth.
Follow these steps whether you’re using a manual toothbrush or an electric one.
- Rinse your brush head and add a small amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Brush your teeth at an angle for better reach. Do this step for 2 minutes, ensuring you brush your front, the sides, and the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
- Clean your tongue until you see no more bacteria residue.
- Spit out leftover toothpaste and rinse your toothbrush head with tap water.
To protect your tooth enamel, always brush your teeth before having breakfast. But if brushing after breakfast works for you, make sure you wait for 30-60 minutes after eating or drinking something and then brush. If you brush right after you eat, the acid may scrub around your mouth and damage your enamel.