Brush Before Breakfast For Stronger, Healthier Teeth

Common sense would tell you that brushing your teeth after eating breakfast is good, because you clean off all the gunk from your meal, right? However, you might be better off brushing your teeth before you eat or 30 minutes after. Here's why.

Toothbrush picture from Shutterstock

The Mayo Clinic notes that brushing your teeth after you eat is good for all the reasons you would think, including cleaning out the bacteria from the food you just ate. If you eat or drink something sugary or acidic though — like the fruits, juices and other breakfast foods many of us eat in the morning — you might want to brush before:

One caveat to brushing after you eat is if you've eaten an acidic food or drink - for example, orange juice. Avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes after acidic foods and beverages. These acids weaken tooth enamel, and brushing too soon can cause damage to the enamel. If you know you're going to eat or drink something very acidic ahead of time, you may want to brush your teeth first.

Alternatively, says Dr Scott Frey of Freysmiles, you can wait 30 minutes after you eat or re-balance your oral pH right away with an alkaline mouth rinse.

In the end, it depends a little on what you eat, so take stock of what you're eating for breakfast and judge when you should brushed based on its sugar content. Check out both articles below for more of the science behind why this happens, as well as this one from RDH for a few studies on the subject.


    In mornings I always use my mouth wash before brushing, as I have orange juice. At night I do it the correct order

    "You should drink orange juice after you brush your teeth"
    Yeah, sure thing, buddy.

      Not sure of this guy has actually tried the taste of orange juice after brushing his teeth.

    You'll find that in a lot of Asian cultures that this is actually the norm, brushing before breakfast. The reason? Something to do with getting rid of that stale taste in your mouth after waking up. Growing up in Australia, the science behind it didn't make sense and the school dentists would always tell me I'm doing it wrong. And I make the generalisation because it's something I found as common occurrence during my visits to Japan and China.

      ^ this. Im from Sri Lanka and we've been told to brush our teeth before breakfast for as long as i can remember

      I've done it like that my entire adult life, but that might also be because I do other things (go for a run, laundry, feed the cat) between waking up and eating breakfast, and the last thing I want is to be going about my business with morning breath!

    I brush during breakfast...

    brushed always before breakfast all my life, and only once per day. im not a super healthy person, but also dont over do junk foods. I dont have a single gum or teeth issue including needing fillings. Not bad considering i averaged only seeing a dentist once every 4-5 years whilst growing up. (im now 32).

    Um.....this is 1 of the reasons you ALWAYS brush before bed, to get rid of the food from dinner, and to protect your teeth for breakfast the next day. you DO NOT need to brush your teeth before breakfast, if you brush before bed! Its common Sense!

    I eat breakfast when I get into the office, so I always brush my teeth before breakfast - otherwise I'd be going to work with morning breath. Ew.

      Same here, no way would I be heading in to the office with morning breath, not to mention tooth brushing is kind of gross and I wouldn't want to be doing that in the work bathroom.

    I brush before breakfast, and then wash my mouth out with just room temp water after eating breakfast.

    Immediately before breakfast will make your food taste crap though. I often brush before breakfast though as I'll get up, brush, hit the gym, and then have breakfast.

    I disagree! I brush my teeth before going to bed and also when I wake up. When we're sleeping, the amount of bacteria and germs inside our mouth multiplies/increases. That's why we have "morning breath" because of all that bacteria. I don't want to eat breakfast with smelly breath and all that bacteria/germs inside my mouth.

    I noticed something weird. This article has the date 14 JULY 2015 7:30 AM.
    Why do some of the comments have the year 2013 for the dates of when they were posted?

    On a vaguely related note in the picture at the top, the toothbrush is rubbish. Those large blue bristles around the side serve absolutely no practical purpose.

    Just wanted to add, when I posted my first comment I was responding to Doctor dentist's comment. For me, it's common sense to brush before eating to reduce the amount of bacteria inside my mouth and also get rid of morning breath.

    "Doctor Dentist Guest MARCH 24, 2013 7:29 PM
    Um.....this is 1 of the reasons you ALWAYS brush before bed, to get rid of the food from dinner, and to protect your teeth for breakfast the next day. you DO NOT need to brush your teeth before breakfast, if you brush before bed! Its common Sense!"

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