Do you brush your teeth before or after breakfast?  Your answer counts

Do you brush your teeth before or after breakfast? Your answer counts

There are two main camps when it comes to morning brushing: those who wake up thinking, “Yuck, I need to get that sticky thing out of my teeth right now,” and those who think they might as well wait. after breakfast to brush your teeth. crumbs.

Whichever camp you’re on, you might not have given much thought when brushing your teeth every morning. But it turns out it’s important: whether you brush your teeth before or after breakfast has a profound impact on the health of your pearly whites, and much of it depends on what you eat and drink during the day. during the first hours of your day.

When to brush your teeth in the morning

You brush your teeth once in the morning and once in the evening. These guidelines established by the American Dental Association have been in place for what seems like forever, and they are the bare minimum to keep your teeth and gums healthy. However, the twice-a-day rule tells you nothing about timing.

Madison Kaplan, a licensed dental hygienist in California, says she encourages all of her patients to brush their teeth after breakfast. This is the best way to ensure the removal of food and drink debris that can stain your teeth, she says.

Brushing your teeth after breakfast, instead of before, means your teeth are free of food particles for more of the day, which means the bacteria in your mouth have less time to metabolize them. sugars and cause cavities or enamel breakdown.

If, however, you consume acidic foods or drinks for breakfast, it may be best to brush your teeth before breakfast. Brushing your teeth after consuming something acidic, such as coffee or fruit, can damage your tooth enamel. For this reason, the American Dental Association recommend waiting 60 minutes after eating these foods to brush your teeth.

If you do not have time to wait an hour to brush your teeth after breakfast (for example, if you eat on the way to work), rinse with water so that food does not remain stuck between your teeth and potentially staining drinks don’t sit all day, encourages Kaplan. “The more food and bacteria you can eliminate, the more optimal oral health you will achieve,” she points out.

What about coffee?

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Many people have learned to brush their teeth after drinking coffee to reduce or avoid stains. Coffee is extremely acidic, however, and “one of the biggest concerns when brushing after consuming something acidic is enamel erosion,” says Kaplan.

“Even though enamel is one of the hardest structures in your body, most similar to the calcium content of our bones, the physical action of brushing can weaken tooth structure,” she explains.

“Bristles rub acid into porous tooth enamel, which can cause permanent damage over time,” Kaplan says. If you want to brush your teeth after drinking coffee as a stain prevention method, wait about 30 minutes after you finish. This gives your mouth time to neutralize and flush out the acids from the coffee so you don’t rub those acids onto your enamel with a toothbrush.

Another way to prevent stains is to drink all of your coffee for the day in one sitting rather than sipping multiple small cups throughout the day, Kaplan says. “Regular sipping promotes constant acid exposure and increased risk of staining potential since teeth don’t have the opportunity to recover throughout the day.”

And the orange juice?

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The concern with brushing your teeth after drinking orange juice is the same as with coffee: acidity. Like brushing after coffee, brushing after orange juice can contribute to erosion of enamel, which weakens teeth over time.

Anyone who’s ever brushed their teeth and then drank orange juice knows how nasty the drink tastes in a minty mouth. If you can’t give up orange juice for breakfast, try brushing your teeth first, then rinsing with water when you’re done. Flossing can help you remove food debris without the abrasiveness of brushing.

Can you brush your teeth before and after breakfast?

Brushing before and after breakfast or coffee is one way to get rid of morning icky mouth and also to remove food debris after your first meal. Kaplan urges people to be careful about overbrushing.

“There’s such a thing as overbrushing, and it can wear down your gums,” Kaplan says. If you want to brush your teeth before and after breakfast, focus on good brushing technique, which is crucial for preventing gum trauma or gum recession, she says.

“You’re only removing bacteria and any food particles that have built up from the previous brushing and flossing session, so it shouldn’t be as intense,” says Kaplan. “Gentle pressure, a slow pace, and the right brush head are key to preventing [of gum recession].”

The important thing is to keep your teeth and gums clean throughout the day, says Kaplan, and the timing will be different for different people. “Getting between your teeth daily — sometimes several times a day, depending on your dental needs and dental history — helps prevent food impaction, gum trauma, and cavities over time,” she says. .

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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