22 August 2018

The Great Debate: Should you brush your teeth before or after breakfast?

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toothbrush

It's a health debate that has ping-ponged back and forth since the dawn of oral hygiene: Should I brush my teeth before or after breakfast? We all have our own opinions on this topic, but who's right?

Unsurprisingly, it turns out the order you eat and brush your teeth in can have a serious impact on your health. After all, your mouth contains at least a few hundred different types of bacteria, which multiply in their millions... 

So, should you brush before or after breakfast?

It 's the philosophy of most dentists that when you're asleep all night and your mouth is inactive, with lots of bacteria multiplying and attaching themselves to your teeth, you'll wake up with a mouth that poses a health risk. By going downstairs and having breakfast and a cup of coffee, you're actually feeding those bacteria all kind of nutrients and sugars for that bacteria film on your teeth to do even more damage.

When bacteria metabolises the sugars in the foods you eat, acid is created. This acid is damaging to the enamel and your gums. By brushing right after your morning OJ, the abrasive bristles of your toothbrush and your toothpaste, combined with this acidity, will begin to wear the enamel away, revealing the naturally yellow dentin below. 

As if that wasn't bad enough! In swallowing your food, you're also consuming all the bacteria that's built up during the night. It therefore makes sense, to brush and floss before you enjoy your breakfast. Sure, the taste of toothpaste combined with your morning Weetabix is less than ideal - but what would you rather have? Bad breath, teeth and gums - or a slight toothpaste taste? 

Alternatively, if you can't get your head around not brushing after breakfast, try using a mouthwash to rinse. You'll be saving yourself in the long run!

toothpaste

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