Should I Brush My Teeth Before or After Breakfast?

Nov 3, 2023 | Dental Information, Oral Health Care

We all know the importance of brushing our teeth every morning, but when are you supposed to complete this routine—before or after breakfast? This is a question we’ve likely all asked ourselves, and the reality is there is no clear answer because there are pros and cons to brushing before and after breakfast. 

Brushing Before Breakfast

Most people head straight to the bathroom as soon as they wake up and brush their teeth while in there. This is a great way to start your day because it will help get rid of bad breath, and brushing will help eliminate the bacteria that multiply on your teeth while you sleep and get rid of that awful morning breath smell. When you brush your teeth before breakfast, you will also receive protection against acidic breakfast foods. Coffee, orange juices and bread are all harmful to your dental enamel, and brushing before eating will allow you to create a protective barrier for your teeth. 

Additionally, brushing your teeth before breakfast will help increase your saliva production, and your mouth will start cleaning itself before, during and after your meals. This is important because saliva helps break down food and kills harmful bacteria. 

Brushing your teeth before breakfast will provide several benefits, yet many people choose to complete this routine after breakfast because they don’t want to ruin the taste of the breakfast foods they consume or would rather have fresh breath right before leaving the house. 

Brushing After Breakfast

Brushing your teeth after breakfast will allow you to walk out your front door with a fresh-smelling breath, and you won’t have to worry about toothpaste changing how your breakfast or coffee tastes. However, You have to be careful because it’s not always a good thing to brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking. Starchy, acidic and sweet foods can weaken the enamel, and when you brush right after consuming these foods, you can wear down your enamel even further. 

Coffee, citrus fruits, fruit juice, pastries, bread and dried fruits are examples of harmful foods and beverages. Yogurt, eggs, smoothies and whole-grain cereals are tooth-friendly breakfast options you should consider. 

It is recommended that you wait thirty minutes to an hour before you brush your teeth after eating because this will ensure your protective enamel has hardened and brushing will not cause damage. If you do not have this time available in the morning, you should brush your teeth before breakfast to avoid dental damage. If you have the time to wait, drink water during that time to further strengthen your enamel. 

Brushing Techniques

There is a proper way to brush your teeth, and failure to follow a proper technique will prevent your teeth from being clean. How you brush your teeth is very important, and only if you do this correctly will you maintain a healthy smile. The wrong technique will not only cause damage but can also leave food particles and plaque behind, which may cause cavities. 

Always wet your toothbrush, place a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, and use circular motions to brush your teeth. Make sure you brush the back, front and chewing surfaces of every tooth at an angle for two minutes. Don’t forget to brush your tongue and spit out the leftover toothpaste. 

It is also highly recommended that you use a soft-bristled electric toothbrush and replace the toothbrush or toothbrush head as soon as the bristles look worn out. Apply gentle pressure when brushing your teeth because there is no need to be aggressive, which can lead to bleeding gums and damaged teeth. Use fluoride toothpaste and always wait thirty minutes before eating or drinking. 

If you’re not sure about your oral hygiene routine, talk to your dentist and ask them for tips and recommendations. They will help you improve your routine and discuss the best tools and techniques for your teeth. 

Bottom Line

In most cases, it is better to brush your teeth before breakfast, as this will ensure your enamel is protected. Chewing sugar-free gum after breakfast is a great way to achieve fresh breath while supporting your healthy smile. 


Do you need more tricks and tips to maintain a healthy smile? Slipacoff Dental will gladly provide you with more information! We will assess your oral health and will make recommendations regarding your oral hygiene routine. We will help you improve your technique and answer any questions regarding brushing and eating. 

We offer several dental services to our patients in Sarnia, including teeth implants and teeth whitening, and you can contact us at any time to schedule your next appointment!