The Best Time to Brush Your Teeth
The Best Time to Brush Your Teeth? It’s Not When You Think!
We all know we’re supposed to brush at least twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. But if your morning routine usually consists of coffee, breakfast, more coffee followed by a vigorous brushing of your teeth — you’re doing it wrong! The best time to brush your teeth is actually before breakfast.
I know, shocker, right?
Many of use leave the brushing until right before we jet out the door so we can get rid of any bits of breakfast stuck to our teeth and start the day with a minty fresh mouth. But there are several reasons why brushing before breakfast can actually give your cleaner, healthier and stronger teeth.
Saliva Levels are Low in the AM
Why does this matter? When you sleep, your “salivary flow” (which sounds like the name of a college folk-rock band) is reduced, which creates the opportunity for bacteria to multiply. Brushing first thing in the morning will not only clear out the overnight bacteria, it will also stimulate your salivary flow, which in turn helps protect your teeth from the acids and sugars you’re about to consume for breakfast.
Eating Breakfast Weakens Enamel
You might eat a hearty meal of bacon and eggs for breakfast. You might rock a fruit smoothie or a greek yogurt in the morning. Some people actually eat salad for breakfast. True story. Even if you eat uber healthy, food changes the pH levels in your mouth, which in turn weakens your enamel. If you brush immediately after eating, when your enamel is at its most vulnerable, your brush might scrape off the weakened enamel, letting the acid penetrate even deeper into your teeth.
So now we’ve explained why you shouldn’t brush your teeth right after breakfast. But what if you’re not about to confront society with stanky breakfast breath? Dr. Heller recommends rinsing your mouth out with water or a mouthwash after you eat. A bit of flossing can’t hurt either. I know what you’re thinking — but what about the gross mingling of the taste of minty toothpaste and oj? You can always try a mint-free version. And if you just can’t get down with the idea of changing your routine to brush first thing in the morning, wait at least 30 minutes after breakfast for the acid levels in your mouth to return to normal.