Should You Brush Your Teeth Before or After Breakfast?

Brushing your teeth two times a day is important and is also what the American Dental Association recommends. Using a soft toothbrush is essential to take good care of your teeth as well.


These are things that you may already have been aware of. However, when it comes to brushing your teeth in the morning, should you do it before you eat your breakfast or after?


Ideally, you should brush your teeth before you eat breakfast to maintain the enamel of your teeth as well as your dental health.


To learn more about why this matters and whether or not it is okay for you to brush your teeth after breakfast, you can go through the following guide.


Does the Timing Matter?

The timing can certainly make a difference when it comes to your dental hygiene, although not overwhelmingly so. When it comes to brushing your teeth, it can be quite important to get rid of the plaque build-up that usually occurs during the night while you are asleep.


This can also lead to an increase in the bacteria in your mouth, which is why brushing your teeth as soon as you wake up in the morning can help clear your mouth and get rid of the bacteria.


This can be a good way to maintain the condition of the enamel present in your teeth.


If you happen to brush your teeth after breakfast, then this can end up exposing the enamel to acidic content from the food you eat during breakfast, which can further lead to the bacteria already present in the mouth multiplying considerably.


Overall, therefore, brushing your teeth before breakfast can be a better idea. Yet, if you sometimes prefer to brush your teeth after eating your breakfast, this can help clear out the food from your mouth and from between your teeth.


You should, however, wait a bit after breakfast before you brush your teeth.


Benefits of Brushing Teeth Before Breakfast

It is now clear that brushing teeth before breakfast can help get rid of bacteria in the mouth while also protecting the enamel. How exactly does this benefit our oral health? Are there any other potential advantages of brushing teeth before breakfast?


Take a look.


Saliva and Digestion

Brushing your teeth before you eat your breakfast can actually make it easier for you to dissolve and break up the food that you eat during breakfast. This is because brushing can increase the production and flow rate of saliva in the body, making it easier for the food to pass down the digestive tract.


This happens because saliva contains enzymes that break down the starch present in the food into sugars. These sugars are easier for the body to absorb and digest.


Saliva can also be a great way to break apart the fats in the food into a more easily absorbable form due to the enzyme lingual lipase.


Brushing your teeth after your breakfast can minimize this function. It might take longer for the food to break down properly and digest well.


Saliva can also get rid of the bacteria present in the mouth.


Clear Breath and Taste

Whenever you wake up in the morning, you might feel bothered by the strange smell of your breath and the numb and stodgy feeling in your mouth. When you brush your teeth, this kind of breath and taste usually goes away and clears out your mouth and freshens it up.


This cleaning process takes place because your toothpaste kills the bacteria that may have developed rapidly in your mouth while you were asleep.


This way, you do not need to worry about additional bacteria entering your mouth while you eat breakfast. Failing to brush before breakfast and brushing immediately after breakfast can lead to more bacteria and cavities.


Strength of Teeth

You can protect the strength of your teeth by brushing your teeth first thing in the morning instead of waiting until after breakfast. This is not only because you are getting rid of the bacteria sooner but also because you are protecting your enamel from declining in quality and strength.


By using your toothpaste before eating, you can shield your enamel and make it easier for it to fight against the acid that may enter your mouth when you do end up eating breakfast.


This can also keep the minerals in the enamel intact instead of reducing their content, keeping your teeth strong.


Preventing Decay

The plaque present in your teeth can use the food that you eat during your breakfast to increase the number of bacteria present in your mouth. It also makes use of the acid from the food to create derivatives that can then end up reacting with other elements present in your teeth.


This kind of process and reaction can easily lead to cavities in your teeth, leading to decay over time, especially if brushing your teeth after breakfast is something you carry out routinely.


Thus, ensuring that you brush your teeth before you eat every morning can get rid of the bacteria and plaque in your mouth, preventing the multiplication of bacteria. This can keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free and prevent decay in the short and long term.


Is It Okay to Brush Teeth After Breakfast?

While it is not ideal to brush your teeth after breakfast, you can still manage to do this without harming your teeth too much. However, it is crucial for you to maintain proper conditions in which you brush your teeth if you have already eaten.


One of the primary things that you must take note of here is to wait for a while after eating to brush your teeth. Let 30-60 minutes pass after eating so that the acids present in the food can offset and counteract any of the reactions that they would otherwise cause.


If you brush immediately after breakfast, you might end up spreading the acids around in your mouth that can harm your enamel and lead to decay, especially if this is something you tend to carry out on a daily basis.


Some common breakfast options that are acidic in content include:


  • Orange juice
  • Citrus fruits
  • Coffee
  • Toast or any kind of bread-based food
  • Dried fruits
  • Bacon
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt


Another thing you should remember here is that brushing your teeth after breakfast, even after waiting for a bit, can put you at greater risk of developing cavities in some of your teeth.


If these are some foods that you have eaten during your breakfast, make sure you drink sufficient water to nullify the acids further so that you do not end up spreading them around too much while brushing.


Thus, if you already tend to develop cavities frequently or experience toothaches often, you should avoid brushing your teeth after breakfast.


Proper Brushing Technique

We have established now that brushing your teeth is better before breakfast. However, if you do not use a proper brushing technique, then you might not actually end up feeling the benefits of this brushing timing.


To help you maximize the benefits and improve your dental health and hygiene, you should ensure that you brush your teeth using the following technique and steps.


  • Use a soft toothbrush with nylon and round bristles.
  • Dampen up your brush a bit to clean out potential germs and also to make it easier to spread the paste in your mouth.
  • After applying the paste to the brush, brush the inside of your mouth as well as the teeth out at the front.
  • Make sure you get the angle right—your brush should cover your teeth as well as the lining of the gums.
  • Use both up-and-down as well as rolling movements to brush your teeth.
  • Brush behind your teeth and pay attention to the parts between your teeth.
  • This process should take around two minutes, so keep brushing until then!
  • Rinse out your mouth once you are done.


You must also make it a point to change your toothbrush every three months or so to ensure that the bristles don’t develop too many microbes.


Flossing and Mouth Wash

Remember to rinse your mouth after every meal or snack that you have throughout the day so that you can remove the food stuck between your teeth and prevent the growth of excess bacteria.


You can also use a special mouth wash to rinse your mouth either after you brush your teeth or before you sleep at night, although you can also manage without it if you take proper care of your teeth.


Flossing on a daily basis can also help clear out any food that might be stuck between your teeth that your toothbrush might not be able to access.


Summing Up

The best solution for you is to brush your teeth every morning before you eat your breakfast. However, if you end up forgetting or have to eat your breakfast first, make sure you wait up to an hour before brushing your teeth. You should also follow good dental hygiene and a proper brushing technique.