To brush before or after breakfast??

I’m sure if most of us were asked if we think we should brush our teeth before or after breakfast, we’d say after right?

You’ve been asleep all night and it’s been hours since you last brushed your teeth, you eat your toast or cereal, drink your coffee or juice then clean your teeth to get rid of the food debris and leave the house with fresh smelling breath ready for the day!! You’re not alone in thinking that. But is that what we SHOULD be doing??

Well the answer is actually no, which has recently been discovered by the 2.7 million people who viewed Dental Therapist Anna Peterson’s video on social media platform TikTok. After the video went viral it has caused debate over what is right and what is wrong.

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Technically brushing before breakfast is the best option for the long-term health of your teeth as Anna Peterson pointed out in her viral video, but you can brush afterwards if you wish and here are the reasons why:

You develop plaque during the night

Even if you have brushed your teeth before bedtime, plaque does still form throughout the night. Plaque is a bacteria that sticks to the surface of the teeth. These bacteria eat the food you consume and release acids that can weaken the enamel on your teeth. Therefore brushing your teeth first thing, before eating breakfast, removes this plaque and helps provide a protective layer of fluoride.

This protective layer can limit the damaging effects of sugars and acids.

Brushing after breakfast can damage tooth enamel

If you brush after eating breakfast the acid in the food basically can be pushed further into the tooth and over time damage, and wear away the soft enamel.

It is even more important to brush before eating if you are going to have very acidic or sugary products such as orange or apple juice, sugary cereals or maple syrup.

How to freshen your breath after breakfast

Once you’ve brushed your teeth before eating breakfast we know you’d like to wash away any food particles and freshen your breath for the day ahead and the easiest and most effective way to do this is to use a non alcoholic mouthwash or simply rinse with water.

We always hear about a sweet tooth but what about a sour one?!?

Most of us love a sugary drink or maybe a cheeky donut, but similarly, seemingly healthy drinks and food such as orange juice, apple juice, diet fizzy drinks and sour sweets contain a lot of acid, and can be as damaging to our enamel as sugary sweet treats. Limiting your intake of these products and not brushing straight after consuming them can reduce the damage caused.

A report from toothpaste brand Colgate certainly backed up the statement made in the TikTok video saying that brushing your teeth after eating can sometimes affect your tooth enamel.

Set in your ways?

If you really want to brush your teeth after eating breakfast is it recommended to wait at least 30 to 60 minutes. Healthcare group Bupa agrees that if you do brush afterwards, it’s best to wait this amount of time giving the saliva time to neutralise the acids in the mouth after consuming foods.


Anna Peterson said ‘it’s amazing how many people have never realised that it is the better way of doing it’.

So to keep your teeth and gums healthy, we recommend to always brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day for about two minutes each time and brush before breakfast, not after!’

You learn something new everyday eh! For more advice speak to the team here at Kingswood Parks Clinics or book an appointment, where oral advice will be provided:

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