Let’s Settle This: Should You Brush Your Teeth Before Or After Breakfast?

man holding toothbrush under faucet, cropped
Should You Brush Your Teeth Before Breakfast?PhotoAlto/Antoine Arraou / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections - Getty Images

When it comes to brushing those pearly whites, we've likely all been taught to brush our teeth at least twice a day for two minutes straight each time. And I'm sure we've all been lectured on the importance of daily flossing and even brushing your tongue.

But what about when to brush? Do we brush before indulging in those pancakes or after we've devoured a few flapjacks?

Believe it or not, the general consensus is that you should brush your teeth before eating breakfast. Why exactly is that? According to an article from Healthline, there are quite a few reasons, including ridding your mouth of bacteria that has formed overnight and boosting saliva production.

"While you sleep, plaque-causing bacteria in your mouth multiply," the article reads. "Washing those bacteria right out with a fluoride toothpaste rids your teeth of plaque and bacteria. It also coats your enamel with a protective barrier against acid in your food."

Additionally, a New York Times article published last year offers another interesting answer as to why you should brush first thing in the morning: you might just forget.

"Brush your teeth before leaving the house, otherwise you won’t brush at all,” Dr. Gonzalez-Cabezas shared with The New York Times.

And if you simply can't resist the urge to brush your teeth after eating breakfast, there are several precautions you should take, including waiting 30 minutes to an hour after eating to brush and avoiding acidic food.

Now about that flossing...

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