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.