Most of us have grown up with the habit of reaching for the toothbrush and toothpaste while still groggy from a night’s sleep. However, not everyone brushes their teeth as soon as they wake up; many people wait till after breakfast to do so.

Does it really make a difference if you brush and floss after breakfast if your hands discover the first cup of coffee or a steaming hot breakfast before you grab the toothbrush?

So, who’s brushing when it’s supposed to be done? Dentists are the most knowledgeable in dental hygiene, so they should be able to advise us whether we should brush our teeth before or after breakfast — and how to keep those pearly whites sparkling clean no matter what time we brush, right?

We need to understand the biology of teeth, bacteria, and chemicals in the mouth, according to Dr. Philip Bomeli of Solon Orthodontics in Ohio. During the day, normal saliva production washes away food particles to keep our teeth cleaner, a job it performs well thanks to the cells in it that fight germs and infection, as well as the proteins and minerals that prevent tooth decay.

Dr. Bomeli compares the waking time scenario to how the amount of germs in our mouths grows as we sleep, with the noxious consequence seen in our morning breath. But there’s another consequence that you can’t smell or see right away: PLAQUE BUILDUP. Plaque bacteria turn sugar and carbs into acids, which attack our gums and enamel (the strong, protective outer layer of teeth), causing gingivitis (a kind of gum disease characterised by red, puffy, and bleeding gums) and cavities.

Brushing before breakfast and brushing after breakfast are two scenarios presented by Dr. Bomeli.

Brushing and flossing early thing in the morning eliminates plaque that has accumulated during the night. That deprives the bacteria of the sugar and carbohydrate feast it could have had with you at breakfast. Simply washing your mouth with water after a meal is sufficient. If you brush your teeth before breakfast, it should suffice, and you can floss if necessary. This should help you maintain good dental hygiene throughout the day.

Dr. Amber Bonnaig, the dental director of DentaQuest, a health care organisation that provides dental insurance, is quoted on as advocating for a pre-breakfast brushing session. Dr. Bonnaig explains that “we meet a lot of very acidic foods throughout the day, whether it be fruit, juice, bread, coffee, things of that nature,” and that brushing your teeth first thing in the morning can lessen the chances of your morning meal causing injury.

If You Brush After Breakfast: If you opt to have your delicious breakfast and drink your tea/coffee before cleaning your teeth, do not brush your teeth right away. After your meal, wait 20-30 minutes before brushing your teeth. Why shouldn’t you brush your teeth just after you eat? Brushing your teeth just after breakfast, on the other hand, can cause more harm than good. According to Dr. Bonnaig, acidic foods can weaken enamel for a short period of time, and brushing too soon after eating them — while your enamel is still in a vulnerable state — can cause harm. Many meals and beverages, particularly acidic ones like grapefruit and orange juice, can erode your teeth’s surface. Your enamel will be “remineralized” (another benefit of saliva) and ready for cleaning if you rinse with water after eating and wait at least 20-30 minutes before brushing.

Brushing for an extended period of time can have catastrophic consequences if not removed as soon as you wake up. Plaque, a sticky, white coating that can erode dental enamel and create cavities, leading to gingivitis, forms when bacteria remain on teeth for too long.

Worse, plaque hardens and hardens into tartar, which is impossible to remove with a toothbrush and necessitates a professional oral cleaning. According to the Mayo Clinic, if tartar is left untreated or not removed, it can lead to periodontal disease, a dangerous condition that destroys the gums and can ruin the bone that supports your teeth.

How many times and for how long should you wash your teeth each day?

Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste is recommended by the American Dental Association.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that you do the following every day:

  1. Brush and floss at least once a day, but softly. Tooth roots can be harmed by rash, jerky flossing movements.
  2. After brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth with mouthwash.
  3. Make sure you drink plenty of water. After eating, rinse your mouth.
  4. Limit sugary foods and beverages and have a healthy diet.
  5. Snacking should be limited.
  6. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or more frequently if the bristles are spread or uneven.
  7. Schedule dental checkups including X-rays and cleanings on a regular basis.


The tips and suggestions in this article are intended to provide basic information only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Before beginning any exercise programme or making any dietary changes, always check your doctor or a dietitian.

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