Brushing Before Breakfast Is Better | Asheville Dental | Saunders DDS
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    Why Brushing Before Breakfast Is Better

    by Saunders DDS on July 21, 2016

    Most people have a preference as to when they take care of their oral health in the morning—either before or after breakfast. Many people can’t stand the bad taste in their mouth in the morning and brush immediately after waking and before coffee or food. Others can’t stand the extra minty taste of their toothpaste and the way it makes their orange juice taste strange and so hold off on brushing until after breakfast is consumed.

    But which is the best time to brush—before or after breakfast? Although many people have different ideas about when is the best time to brush, experts like Dr. Saunders, your dentist in Asheville, advise that brushing before having breakfast is the best time to brush in the morning.

    Why is brushing before breakfast better than brushing after your scrambled eggs, toast, and coffee? Here are the top reasons why brushing before breakfast should be your norm!

    Your Mouth Is Full of Bacteria

    Dry mouth while sleeping could be caused by snoring or mouth breathing, but oftentimes hydration just isn’t feasible while we’re getting our hours of beauty sleep. This means that our mouths have ample opportunity to dry out. Reduced saliva while we sleep means a dry mouth full of bacteria and harmful acids that are just waiting to be fed by the food we’re about to eat.

    When we eat breakfast without brushing, the bacteria feed on the food just as we do, which leads to increased acid production. This type of acid caused by bad bacteria is very damaging to enamel and can cause enamel erosion and cavities.

    The bacteria you have in your mouth will also depend on how healthy your mouth normally is—the more you neglect your oral health, the greater the amount of harmful bacteria that will exist.  This will lead to an extra stinky mouth in the morning full of bad bacteria just waiting for you to eat something.

    If you generally take care of your teeth through regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups at our Asheville dental practice, you may be less prone to gum disease and tooth decay and have a healthier mouth. This means you may not have a high risk for oral health damage when eating after waking—but regardless, you can help protect your mouth by brushing before breakfast!

    Dry Mouth Is Combated by Brushing

    Did you know that brushing can actually help stimulate saliva production and protect your mouth from those damaging acids and restore bacteria balance? Nearly everyone experiences dry mouth upon waking, as you’ve been sleeping for hours (maybe even with your mouth open!) and not had the opportunity to hydrate your body.

    Brushing before breakfast can help to kickstart saliva production in your mouth and protect your teeth from any sugary or acidic breakfast foods you may eat, like orange juice or waffles with syrup. Also, your teeth are cleaner and ready for the day!

    Dry mouth can damage enamel through acids and encourage tooth decay and gum disease. The fluoride in your toothpaste will further help protect your teeth against acids. It provides a type of barrier between your teeth and potentially damaging breakfast foods, therefore making your smile safe and clean!

    Brushing After Breakfast Can Be Harmful to Your Enamel

    Although many people are under the impression that any time is a good time to brush, this simply isn’t true. Brushing immediately after consumption of acidic fruits, drinks, and other foods can actually damage your teeth by stripping softened enamel from your smile.

    Since our enamel is porous, brushing immediately after breakfast can actually erode your enamel. This is because your mouth has been affected by the acidic foods you’ve consumed and is now prone to damage. Brushing too aggressively is extremely damaging as well, and could be responsible for enamel erosion. Scrubbing on your teeth after consuming fruit juices or acidic foods can lead to tooth sensitivity from damaged enamel.

    If you want to brush after breakfast, try to wait a minimum of 30 minutes so that your mouth can restore its pH balance and your enamel won’t be so susceptible to damage. Don’t have 30 minutes to wait? Try brushing before breakfast in the morning for a couple days to save yourself time—you might be surprised by how much you enjoy having a clean mouth to eat your breakfast!

    Other Helpful Tips

    At our Asheville dentist office, we understand that brushing in the morning might not be the first thing on your agenda. With breakfast being so alluring and many other tasks demanding your attention, brushing likely isn’t the first thing on your mind upon waking.

    Here are some tips to help you make brushing before breakfast a habit each and every morning!

    Don’t Have Time? Consider that to save your smile, you’ll need to try and wait at least 30 minutes after consuming your breakfast before brushing to avoid damage to your enamel. To save time, brush before breakfast. Even a dry brushing is better than no brushing at all!

    Hate the Way Toothpaste Tastes with Your Food? Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is the chemical that’s responsible for your toothpaste’s foam and is also most responsible for that weird taste in your mouth when you eat certain foods after brushing. If that strange, altered sense of taste is your number one reason for not brushing before eating your morning meal, try a SLS-free toothpaste.

    Although most conventional toothpastes contain SLS, you can read the label or look for “SLS-free” claims on your toothpaste. These toothpastes may help the taste factor and can encourage you to brush first thing in the morning!

    Do You Need to Brush Again after Breakfast? No, unless you really want to, but rinsing with water or mouthwash can help remove food and additional bacteria and mouthwash can help your mouth to feel fresh after eating! If you do choose to brush again, try not to brush immediately after, as this can damage teeth. Try to wait about 30 minutes if you can.

    The Takeaway

    While most people have established routines and preferences about their morning brushing, the jury is in—brushing before you eat any food is more beneficial and less harmful to your smile than brushing after breakfast!

    Brushing before breakfast can remove plaque and bacteria that have established themselves in your mouth overnight, prevent enamel erosion from acid-producing bacteria and acidic breakfast foods, and guard your smile against the harmful substances we come into contact with throughout the day.

    If you don’t already, give brushing before breakfast a try—your smile will be fresh, clean, and ready for your delicious breakfast! 

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