As you go through your morning routine, you shower, wash your face, and grab your toothbrush. But hold on — should you brush now or wait until after you eat? It seems pointless to brush before eating because your teeth will get dirty. But at the same time, brushing your teeth goes hand-in-hand with getting clean for the day. What’s the right decision?
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth two times a day — in the morning and at night — for at least two minutes. Sustained brushing is key for removing plaque and harmful bacteria, and using fluoride toothpaste helps prevent tooth decay.
Should You Brush Before or After Breakfast?
While there is no correct answer, experts recommend brushing before breakfast. Plaque-causing bacteria grow in our mouths as we sleep, and it’s important to remove that harmful buildup after waking up. Additionally, brushing helps generate the flow of saliva, which helps break down food.
Can You Still Brush After Breakfast?
Brushing after breakfast is still better than not brushing at all. However, it’s important to wait at least 30 to 60 minutes after eating before doing so. Brushing your teeth too soon can spread acidic food over your enamel, weakening it over time. Waiting gives your teeth time to remineralize. In the meantime, it’s good practice to rinse your mouth with drinking water to help encourage the remineralization process.
What About Flossing?
Flossing is key for removing stuck food particles from those hard-to-reach places. It’s best to floss before brushing, as it helps clear the mouth of any food remnants that may block the toothbrush’s bristles. The American Dental Association recommends flossing once a day at a time that best fits your schedule.
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