Dentist Explains Why You Should Always Brush Your Teeth Before Breakfast

·2-min read
Photo credit: kupicoo - Getty Images
Photo credit: kupicoo - Getty Images

Just when you think you've nailed your daily routine, some TikTok-famous expert appears out of the blue with advice that invariably winds up upending the habit of a lifetime. UK-based dentist Anna Peterson recently took to the app with a nugget of truth that'll change the first hour of your morning forever.

If, like most people, you usually wait until after you've sunk your morning bowl of granola to brush your teeth, bad news: you're doing it the wrong way around. Even though it may feel counter-intuitive to clean your gnashers before you make them 'dirty' with food, what you're actually doing is protecting your teeth from the acid in your morning meal.

"Did you know you shouldn't brush your teeth after breakfast? Always before," Peterson says in the clip, which has garnered 1.5 million views at the time of writing. "There's two reasons for this. When you eat breakfast, your mouth becomes acidic.

"So what you're doing when you brush your teeth after breakfast is brushing the acid into the tooth, and this wears away the enamel. And, brushing before breakfast protects your teeth from anything you're going to eat."

What a revelation.

While we're often told how long to brush for, and how frequently to brush, we're rarely told when. But given that breakfast is associated with highly acidic foods – orange juice, coffee, bread and pastries – it makes sense that brushing right away could be particularly toxic for your teeth.

There's further science behind a pre-breakfast brushing habit, too. Brushing stimulates your saliva production for five minutes, a US study found. Not only does saliva help to break your food down, but it kills harmful bacteria – including the stuff that makes your breath smell deeply unappealing (especially after an eight-hour stint beneath the sheets).

So, the next time your alarm goes off, whip out your toothpaste instead of boiling the kettle. Not only will your teeth thank you for it, but so will your other half.

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