Lifestyle

Man brushing teeth in mirror Man brushing teeth in mirror Man brushing teeth in mirror

Readers ask, we answer

Dustin asks:

"Should I brush before or after breakfast?"

Have a question you’d like us to answer? Send it to grin@deltadental.com, and it could be featured in an upcoming issue.

Hi, Dustin! It depends on what your breakfast looks like. If your breakfast consists of food and drinks containing lots of sugar or carbs, like sugary cereals and apple juice, brushing after a meal can help reduce bacteria in your mouth and prevent tooth decay.

But if you’re planning to eat or drink something acidic — such as grapefruit, pineapple, orange juice or even coffee — it’s better to brush before breakfast.

That’s because acid attacks your teeth after you eat, weakening your tooth enamel. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes for saliva to remineralize and restore the enamel to its previous state. Brushing too soon can damage your teeth while your enamel is temporarily weakened. Instead of brushing after breakfast, consider swishing with water to help wash away acids.

If brushing after breakfast is already your jam, wait at least a half hour after eating to prevent damage to your teeth.

The most important thing is to remember to brush every morning for two full minutes as part of your daily routine. This removes bacteria, acid and plaque that build up in your mouth overnight. Plus, it helps get rid of morning breath!