Oral Care: Should You Brush Your Teeth Before or After Breakfast?
Brushing your teeth thoroughly and routinely is one of the most important tasks you have to perform daily if you want to have strong and healthy teeth.
However, there’s always a contentious debate about the best time to brush your teeth in the morning. The question is: Should you brush your teeth before or after breakfast? This article discusses this query in more detail.
Should You Brush Your Teeth Before or After Breakfast?
Many people have established regular teeth brushing habits only brushing their teeth at specific times. Ideally, you are supposed to brush your teeth at least twice a day.
For most people, morning and evening before going to bed are the standard times for brushing their teeth. Unfortunately, many people aren’t sure if they should brush their teeth before or after breakfast.
According to the American Dental Association, brushing your teeth before you eat your breakfast is more beneficial to your teeth than brushing after your breakfast. The association claims that brushing your teeth before breakfast helps to preserve your tooth enamel, thus improving the overall health of your teeth.
Although it’s quite difficult to enjoy your morning glass of orange juice with the taste of fluoride in your mouth, experts advise you to do exactly that.
Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste before breakfast helps to remove the plaque and bacteria that may have accumulated in your mouth throughout the night. It also provides your teeth with an added cover of protection against the acid found in food.
If your breakfast includes acidic foods like grapefruits, oranges, and lemons, you should avoid brushing your teeth immediately after breakfast because the acid will weaken your tooth enamel, making your teeth susceptible to cavities.
Other foods that are considered acidic include coffee, toasts, and citrus. When you brush your teeth before breakfast, you jump-start your glands to produce enough saliva to kill harmful bacteria in your mouth and assist in breaking down the food. It also ensures that your tooth enamel remains intact.
You should wait for at least one hour after eating your breakfast to brush your teeth. That way, you will have given your mouth enough time to recover its normal pH and your saliva to wash away the extra citric acid found in food. You can drink water or chew sugar-free gum for one hour after eating your breakfast to increase saliva production.
Best Time to Brush Your Teeth
As mentioned above, people have developed specific teeth brushing routines that suit them. However, not all teeth brushing routines are accurate. Specific times of the day are perfect for brushing your teeth.
For instance, it’s important to brush your teeth right after you wake up in the morning because it will jump-start your saliva production. Your mouth needs enough saliva to wash away the harmful bacteria that accumulate in your mouth throughout the night.
If you don’t get rid of these bacteria, they will attack your tooth enamel and gum, causing serious bacterial infections.
These bacteria also cause bad breath and leave a stale taste in your mouth. Apart from eliminating harmful bacteria, brushing your teeth in the morning with fluoride toothpaste helps to protect your tooth enamel against erosion by the citric acid found in food.
So, you can enjoy your orange juice, coffee, and other acidic foods in the morning without worrying about your teeth.
The other best time to brush your teeth is at night before bedtime because it removes any food particles and other debris left in your mouth after dinner. The harmful bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar.
Therefore, any food particles left in your mouth after dinner will If you don’t get rid of these food particles, they will provide the harmful bacteria the needed nourishment for faster proliferation.
Brushing your teeth before bedtime also helps your mouth to produce enough saliva that washes away the harmful bacteria, thus preventing cavities and gum infections.
You should also floss your teeth and rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash before sleeping to remove any food particles stuck between your teeth and provide your mouth with an added layer of protection throughout the night.
Apart from the morning and night routines, you should also make a habit of brushing your teeth at least one hour after eating or drinking sugary drinks. For instance, you should brush your teeth after eating your afternoon snack or after enjoying candy. Plaque takes about 12 hours to build up in your mouth.
That’s why dental experts advise you to brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day. Brushing your teeth more than twice a day prevents periodontitis. So, don’t wait until bedtime to brush your teeth; just brush your teeth whenever you notice a stale taste in your mouth.
4 Tips for Brushing Your Teeth Properly
Brushing your teeth involves more than just scrubbing your teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste. There are specific steps you should take when brushing your teeth to make sure they are thoroughly cleansed. Whether you use an electric toothbrush or an ordinary manual toothbrush with nylon bristles, follow these steps:
1. Lubricate Your Toothbrush
Start by wetting your toothbrush with a small amount of water to lubricate the bristles. Then put a small amount of fluoride toothpaste to the bristles, about the size of a pea. You just need a small amount of toothpaste to clean your mouth thoroughly.
2. Brush Your Teeth
When brushing your teeth, move the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle so that the bristles can access the hard-to-reach areas. Move your toothbrush slowly and gently in short circular strokes to access all parts of your teeth and avoid injuring your gums.
You should brush your teeth for not less than two minutes, making sure that you are brushing the front teeth, sides, and the chewing surface of your teeth.
3. Brush Your Tongue
Don’t forget to brush the bacteria off your tongue. When you eat something, some of the food residues get stuck on your tongue, allowing harmful bacteria to proliferate. Therefore, brushing your tongue helps to remove these bacteria and food residue. It also keeps your mouth fresh.
4. Spit Out the Paste
Spit out the remainder of toothpaste and saliva into the sink. Although many people are used to rinsing their mouths right after brushing their teeth, experts advise against it because it helps to erode your tooth enamel.
That’s why you shouldn’t use a lot of toothpaste so that you don’t have to deal with the taste of excess toothpaste after brushing your teeth.