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If you’re someone who always brushes their teeth before breakfast, brushing afterwards might seem strange or awkward. Similarly, if you’ve always brushed your teeth after breakfast, the thought of brushing before might seem bewildering. Is there really an advantage to brushing before or after breakfast?
After a long night’s sleep, the warm and moist environment of your mouth will have allowed bacteria plenty of time to multiply and grow. This is one of the causes of bad breath in the morning. Brushing your teeth as soon as you get up in the morning can help reduce bacterial levels in your mouth and protect your gums and tooth enamel. However, you’ll miss out on removing food debris from your mouth after you’ve finished your morning meal.
If you enjoy breakfast foods with a high content of refined carbohydrates, brushing after eating might work out better for you. The accumulation of easily digestible sugars on teeth will drive your mouth bacteria into a feeding frenzy, contributing to the growth of dental plaque and tartar. Brushing after having breakfast will allow you to get rid of this and prevent further bacterial growth. However, you may want to hold off on brushing if you’ve just consumed something acidic. Acidic foods and beverages, such as orange juice, can damage and wear down your enamel. Some studies have shown that brushing your teeth too soon after a meal can actually hurt your enamel more. Your best bet is to swish your mouth with water after consuming your acidic food and wait 30 minutes before brushing.
As it turns out, there are potential benefits and downsides to both brushing before and after breakfast. Brushing before will help reduce bacterial numbers from overnight, while brushing afterwards helps remove food debris and clear your mouth of refined sugars, which are bacteria’s favourite meal. However, you’ll want to avoid brushing afterwards if you’ve recently had acidic food, and you’ll want to avoid brushing before if you plan on having a sugary meal.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter too much if you choose to brush before or after breakfast. The more important thing is to remember to actually brush your teeth in the morning! Centennial Smiles wishes all our clients a happy new year! If you’re looking for a new dentist this year, you can start by calling us at (587) 317‑7959.