Should you brush your teeth before or after breakfast?

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth two times a day.  

While they don’t specify what time of day is optimal, you most likely have opted to brush right before bed and once in the morning. 

But did you know morning brushing has brought on an interesting debate: Is it better to brush your teeth before or after eating breakfast?

Admittedly, the taste of your toothpaste and morning cup of OJ aren’t exactly compatible. But brushing your teeth before eating is surprisingly the best way to protect your teeth. 

In this article, I’ll go over why brushing your teeth before breakfast might be the best choice to maintain a healthy smile and precautious to take if you have to brush after a morning meal. 

Why You Should Brush Before Breakfast


Ever wake up in the morning with a “mossy mouth” or bad breath? Totally normal. 

While you were resting, plaque-causing bacteria were working hard to multiple overnight.

Now it’s time to fight back! Brushing first thing in the morning  helps remove these harmful bacteria and plaque from your teeth. 

Toothy Tip: Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste adds a protective layer to your enamel. This is especially helpful since most breakfast foods are acidic and rough on teeth. 

Studies have also shown that brushing kickstarts your saliva production. Salvia naturally kills harmful bacteria and helps breakdown food. 

How to Brush Your Teeth After Eating

brushing teeth

The hard truth about your favorite breakfast food is that they are some worst foods for your teeth thanks to their high acidic and starchy content. 

Example of these breakfast staples include:

  • Orange Juice 
  • Coffee 
  • Breads 
  • Pastries 
  • Dried Fruit 
  • Citrus Fruit 

If you choose to brush your teeth after eating, it’s best to let your salvia neutralize these acids for about 30 to 60 minutes. Brushing too quickly afterward rubs lingering acids into your enamel and gums, potentially damaging your teeth. 

Toothy Tip: Pressed for time? Rinse with your mouth with water or mouthwash or chew sugar-free gum to clean your teeth after eating. 

Final Thoughts 

So which is best – Brushing your before or after breakfast? 


The answer is whichever works best for your lifestyle.


If your rushing out the door most mornings (like myself), brushing first thing may be the right choice. 


But if you have time to spare, brushing your teeth after breakfast works just as well. 


After all, brushing anytime is better than never! 


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