Coast Dental Blog

Breakfast Battle: Is it Better to Brush Before or After?

What’s hotter – your morning cup of joe, or the fiery debate on whether you should brush your teeth before or after breakfast? In honor of International Coffee Day (October 1st), we’ll delve into this early dawn dilemma and hopefully help you decide what’s best for your morning routine.

When determining whether to brush your teeth before or after eating breakfast, it’s crucial to consider your personal oral health needs. Individuals with a high risk of cavities or gum disease might benefit from brushing before breakfast to remove overnight bacteria buildup. Also, if you share the breakfast table with friends or family – they may appreciate not having to eat while smelling bad morning breath!

Additionally, evaluating your breakfast habits and the types of foods you consume can help guide your decision. If you’re a big fan of sugary cereals or frosted donuts in the morning, you’ll need to brush out the lingering sugar particles from your mouth as soon as possible to prevent bacteria growth.

Lastly, we want to heavily emphasize the importance of proper brushing technique and duration. Two minutes of brushing at least twice a day is essential for maintaining good oral health. It doesn’t matter much when you brush if it’s done poorly to begin with! If you’re unsure your oral hygiene routine is sufficient, ask our dental professionals during your next visit.

Now with all that out of the way, let’s get into the debate!

Brushing Before Breakfast

Brushing your teeth just after getting up in the morning can help remove overnight bacteria and plaque buildup, freshen morning breath, and prepare your teeth for the day ahead. If you use fluoride toothpaste, your enamel also has an extra layer of protection against your morning coffee and other acidic breakfast foods. Just watch out for the infamous combination of toothpaste and orange juice!

  • Enamel is shielded from stains & erosion
  • Kills bad “morning breath”
  • Saves time during the morning routine
  • May need to brush/floss again after meal
  • Toothpaste orange juice = disaster

Brushing After Breakfast

Waiting until after eating to brush helps remove food particles and acidity from the mouth, saving your tooth enamel from the erosive effects of certain breakfast foods. You might also save yourself from the embarrassment of having a piece of spinach from this morning’s quiche pointed out by a coworker! Just remember; it’s best to wait at least 30 minutes after eating to brush, as your saliva needs time to neutralize the acids found in certain breakfast foods. Otherwise, you may end up doing more harm than good! If you brush too soon, you could end up brushing acid into your enamel, which will erode it over time. If you often find yourself in a rush to get out the door in the morning, brushing before eating is recommended.

  • No risk of toothpaste ruining food flavors
  • Removes acidity, stains, & stray food particles
  • Restores fresh breath & enamel
  • Prolonged “morning breath”
  • Requires 30-minute wait to brush after


Smile on PaperBoth routines clearly have their own merits and drawbacks. Regardless of your timing, the most important takeaway message should be to prioritize your oral health. Consistency in technique, regular dental check-ups, and maintaining good oral hygiene practices are all crucial factors.

We believe that personalized advice from dental professionals is essential in making decisions about oral health routines. Therefore, we encourage you to reach out to your dentist for personalized guidance based on your specific dental health needs.

At Coast Dental, we are here to support you on your oral health journey. Whether you brush before or after breakfast, we’re committed to providing you with the care and guidance you need to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile for life!

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