If you eat breakfast and brush your teeth every morning, you’ve already reached the pinnacle of human achievement. But if you’re feeling confident and really want to optimize your morning routine, you’ll need to figure out which of these activities to do first. Should you brush your teeth before or after breakfast? (It’s important, okay?)
Shocking post-breakfast brushers everywhere, Milad Shadrooh, a dental influencer and real-life dentist, says he recommends brushing before breakfast. While brushing after your morning meal may seem like a good way to prevent a day of egg breath, there are a couple good reasons behind Shadrooh’s suggestion.
For one, your mouth deserves attention the moment you wake up. “When we sleep, the bacteria in our mouth builds up,” Shadrooh explains. In fact, our mouths go absolutely bonkers with germs throughout the night. Since we produce less saliva while we’re snoozing, there’s nothing to wash them away.
Unfortunately, all those pesky buggers want a taste of your Pop-Tarts and OJ, too. “If you were to go and have breakfast, then all the bugs in your mouth would also eat that breakfast,” says Shadrooh. “The byproduct of them digesting the sugary elements is to release acid, and it’s that acid that starts to burn holes in your teeth.” So, if you were to brush and floss them away before eating, you’d end up with less damage to your teeth. (Though, Shadrooh suggests waiting 10 or 15 minutes after brushing before eating so the fluoride in the toothpaste can protect the teeth.)
The second reason why you’re better off brushing before noshing also comes down to reducing the impact of that gnarly acid. “Once you eat, because that acid attack starts happening, if you were to then brush your teeth, you actually wear that acid into the teeth,” Shadrooh warns. This could result in damaged enamel, or the outer layer of your teeth. Knowing that, if you absolutely must brush after breakfast, he recommends waiting 30 to 45 minutes — that way, your saliva can wash some of that acid away before you come in with those bristles.
But if you want to keep it simple and can manage to brush before breakfast every morning, you, my friend, deserve to be proud. I’m clapping for you right now.