Do You Brush Your Teeth before or after Breakfast?

Long story short, my colleague and I are in a fierce debate over brushing your teeth before or after breakfast?

I wanted to know what the OzBargain community does.

Poll Options

  • 400
  • 336
  • 44
    Who has time for breakfast?


      • +2

        Maybe it's just me, but I still have morning breath when I wake up in the morning even if I brush before bed. Something still accumulates overnight..

      • Will reduce it by an extent, but definitely not the panacea that you're making it out to be.

  • +1

    I have breaky at work about 3 hours after I get up. Therefore I brush before breaky.
    Obviously it makes sense to brush after breaky if you eat right away when you get up.

    • +3

      Why is it obvious?

      Saliva production drops during the night which means that there is an increase in bacteria growth overnight.

      Wouldn't you want to get rid of all that bacteria before you eat?

      • -1

        Well, it's obvious to anyone who has an idea about the human body (with respect to microbes.)

  • +1

    I have my morning coffee @ 7am then brush teeth when having a shower and getting ready @ 7:30am.
    Eat breakfast at work @ 10-11am.

    Brush at night an hour or so before bed when I know I'm not going to eat anything else.

  • Brush before implies both before and after, right? Surely no one is leaving the house without clean teeth. Who are these heathens?

    • +1

      If you brush before breakfast, your teeth will be clean after eating breakfast as that it exactly what your toothpaste does — protect for 'up to 12 hours'.
      The solids from breakfast will disappear in 1 to 2 hours by being dissolved with saliva and washed down with whatever you drank for breakfast.

      • I always thought the protect for 'up to 12 hours' thing was just regular marketing BS. Your other posts were interesting though. It seems counter-intuitive to me to brush before eating but I might have to read some of these articles.

        • Didn't you know toothpaste contains Skywalker/Potter technology/spells good for 12 hours?
          And 110% of solids simply disappear from saliva?

  • +3

    Isn't it a logic & time/distance thing. I'm sure I could come up with an (incorrect) equation somewhere.

    1. Mostly all of us will get up & go to the loo first (unless you've done it whilst in bed - which i'd hope you would still go there). Whilst there it's quite logical to brush at the same time - saves time. Generally what I do.
      1a. I'm pre-empting this - then you get dressed.
    2. Then you go into the Kitchen, scoff something and are out of the house like a Mr. S. Gonzales.

    I can imagine having to go to the loo first thing, dressed, go to kitchen, have food, then go back upstairs & brush - then downstairs again to rush out the door. In my old age my knee's couldn't take it.

    Yes I know it's subjective as some ppl's bedrooms/bathroom's may be closer to the door than kitchen & depending on single or double storey.

    So for me the equation is - the lower the better:
    (brush b4 or brush after)/loo x [(kitchen/shower)(door)]

    • Interesting response my friend

    • I see your point, but personally I prefer to seperate those processes in the interests of hygeine and plumbing complications (toilet/teeth/shave/shower)… I also have another bathroom downstairs so I needn't stress my knees out for secondary trips.

      • Thx seems like you & i are similar in processes yet two of your processes don't apply to me.
        Shaving (i'm hirsute) & showering (overrated & evolutionary advantage to get a seat on the train).
        Also have bathroom downstairs but this is ozbargain afterall…. that would mean an extra brush + toothpaste. (the humanity of spending extra $$$) nearly collapses

  • I brush before breakfast because I make a smoothie in the morning and drink it at work, so I can't brush afterwards.

    • Do you use nannas berries for your smoothies ?

      • +1

        Haha nope, I'm Hep free. I only use organic stuff. These smoothies aren't tasty, but they're healthy.

        • +2

          The hepatitis came from hygiene issues - not from a lack of hipster berry cred…

        • +3

          @woolfenstein: I only eat organic food. I tried sand once - never again!

      • +2

        If it's Nanna's then definitely brush before - the berries that is, with bleach.

  • +4

    I have bulimia and use my toothbrush to help me throw up my breakfast.

    Seriously though we don't have teeth in Tassie.

  • How do i change my vote
    I pressed wrong one

    • Why so serious?

      • I'm sure someone else pressed the wrong one. It will even itself out.

  • Definitely before.

  • It astounds me that people brush their teeth, with no understanding why..
    I only really started brushing at the age of 22.

    • is that why you smile with your lips firmly pressed close? :P

  • +12

    I actually looked this up when I was a kid because a teacher got up me at camp for having already brushed before we had breakfast. Everything I could find online (research journals) suggested it was better to brush before breakfast.

    Some of the reasons suggested were that it was harder to clean properly with the residue from your breakfast still in your mouth, that you would be eating a lot of the crud that built up from the night with your breakfast (which can cause stomach issues), that the toothpaste would protect your teeth for up to 12 hours so it is perfectly fine to brush before breakfast and after dinner to maintain the protection, that due to this protection, your teeth would be unaffected by having breakfaster after brushing.
    In fact, it is not recommended to brush until at least 1-2 hours after eating. So after you finish dinner, do not immediately brush. Wait 1-2 hours first. I have been following this my whole life.

    I have not had a single cavity, ever, and I'm almost 30.

    For those people trying to use analogies like washing dishes — it simply doesn't work because of the way toothpaste works and protects the enamel long after. Also, the dish is already 'dirty' when you wake up. Not just after you have breakfast.

    • Amen brother!

    • Word

    • whenever you swallow saliva during the night and in the morning, with or without eating, all that crud that built up throughout the night gets washed down with it.

      • No, it is usually stuck to your teeth unless you agitate it

        • +1

          the toothpaste film that protects your teeth for up to 12 hours, along with saliva would prevent it from sticking to your teeth…

  • +1

    Before and After.

    This is because I wake up and don't feel refreshed without cleaning my teeth.

    Then after a while of preparing breakfast, I eat and then I brush again.

    I don't have simple cereal meal so the time in between is usually a good hour or so.

    Zero cavities, I'm now aged 55.

  • Brush before breakfast and take a couple of Wrigley's Extra after breakfast.

  • Before, but it should be after…

    I've tried after, I get disappointed as I've then lost the yummy taste that was in my mouth and I have to go eat some more

    • Mmm I feel you. It's a vicious chocolate and vanilla swirl.

  • +1

    i brush both before and after…. anyone the same?

  • I brush before and after. I do before to clean my mouth and after for cleaning my breakfast. I mean why not?

  • +1

    Why not both? Who cares what we think, the answer is right here.

  • Get a life guys.

  • I actually brush immediately after I wake up, have brekkie then use a mouth wash just before I step out to work.

  • +1

    Do you put on your undies before or after your pants?

    No one cares as long as you're wearing something.

  • +1

    Wow shit got real in this thread.

    I brush before.

    In regards to above, don't brush before and after as the brushing actually brushes away the enamel. But yolo

    • brushing actually brushes away the enamel.

      Only if you ate acidic things - in that case wait a bit and/or use mouth wash.

  • -1

    You should brush after having breakfast. By brushing before breakfast you are allowing the bacteria to attack your teeth throughout the day as the food is still present. It is also important to note that while you eat your teeth softened by the acid produced by the bacteria however this damage is reversed from brushing and your saliva. It is generally recommended that you don't brush for around 10-15 minutes after eating as your enamel is still weak at this point.

  • Just brush your teeth before breakfast and brush again after breakfast. Problem solve now let get on with life

  • 15 minutes after because

    • eating immediately after brushing your teeth makes food taste like toothpaste

    • what's the point of brushing your teeth and eating something after? Like washing your car then driving into a puddle.

    • Oh yeah and 15 minutes because I got taught something about waiting a while for some reason and it seems reasonable

    I didn't know people brushed their teeth before breakfast…

  • I brush once or twice a fortnight; scrub the teefs with the bath towel every now and then in between if plaque starts building up. Never had any issues; all teefs in top shape. :E

    • +1

      Wow, and yet you still refer to your 'teef' in plural!

      • +1

        Isn't plural just oral with a plu in lieu of o?

  • What the hell man… I am now thinking why I wasted so much time reading all the comments on this topic :o

  • Always after…just like I do after dinner. But not like straight away after eating…good 10-15 mins later. I floss first and then brush. I like to have fresh breath and a clean smile.

  • Does anyone wipe their butt before taking a dump? And do they then wipe it again after?

    (For the record, I brush my teeth as soon as I wake up before breakfast.)

  • Ah. The age-old quandary. What a riveting read.

    I oft have a similar dilemma when participating in night-time activities with lady friends. Do you wash your nether regions before (in order to be considerate to your potential mate) or after (to remove the products of your endeavours).

    • that would depend on your lady friend - some prefer the natural bodily flavours that have been roasting in pants all day.. and some prefer it clean!

  • After. Even though I was brought up to brush before.

  • What about do we shower before or after you take a poo?

    • in the shower mate… it can be squeeshed down the drain

  • I come for the lols, now stay for the breakfast

  • Based on Ozbargain spirit we have to save for tooth paste. So, there is no need to brush in the morning if you brushed the night before 😁

  • I always floss, brush teeth, brush tongue, mouth wash after breakfast.

    It doesn't make sense to brush before then having to double up on flossing the teeth afterwards. Unless you enjoy having breakfast bits stuck between your teeth all day long.

  • Why not both?

  • +1

    Don't brush. Brushing is abrasive. As an added bonus no one comes near you at work or on public transport ;-)

  • both.
    Why is both not an option?

  • I read somewhere bacteria builds up inside your mouth while you're asleep, so you want to get rid of all that horrid stuff before eating your breakfast.

    But I don't have breakfast so it doesn't really matter for me.

  • +3

    Umm, yeah, i wipe my bum then have a dump.

    Just seems like the right thing to do.

  • I used to brush without toothpaste, and after breakfast brush again with toothpaste.

    Now I'm too lazy to do the first brush.

  • +1

    I used to brush after, and now I brush before.

    A dentistry student told me that brushing before removes bacteria from your mouth before eating, and I find the short-lived taste of the toothpaste better than the sticky feeling and taste of a dry mouth.

  • Why would you brush them before a meal??

  • Am I the only one that flosses more than brushing? Usually floss afterwards unless it feels extra dirty. No brushing.
    I find that when the minty toothpaste taste mixes up with certain foods, it tastes awkward.

  • I brush after but I have heard that you shouldn't do this is you eat certain types of foods (I think it may have been acidic foods) as these foods temporarily soften your enamel making your teeth more susceptible to being worn down by your brush.

  • Before. I can't enjoy breakfast with a nasty mouth but immediately afterwards I don't want to be fishing out bits of food either.

  • +1

    my breakfast is 2 winnie reds, so I have to brush after

  • +1

    or just do before and after every alternate day so you'll get the "not good or bad" result and hope the teeth last long enough until you die.

  • So many people upset over how other people brush their teeth

  • The more appropriate question would be, do you take shower before or after breakfast? You naturally brush your teeth during shower .

    Case closed.

  • I brush my teeth throughout the day (usually when bored) using a miswak stick. Natural flavor, soft on the gum and releases beneficial oils for the teeth. Would highly recommend! haven't used a toothpaste for a while now (sometimes mouthwash to freshen up)

    comparing the use of miswak with ordinary toothbrushes concluded that the results clearly were in favor of the users who had been using the miswak…..compared to tooth brushing, use of the miswak resulted in significant reductions in plaque (p < 0.001) and gingival (p < 0.01) indices

  • +1

    Would the collective OzB be this enthusiastic if the poll were of a political topic?

    • No.
      The collective shallowness of the OB collective would preclude that.

      Next question.

  • I brush once a day before bed. I don't floss or use mouthwash either. The dentist always says my teeth are in perfect health so I've never changed my routine.

    Honestly I think over brushing is detrimental to the health of your teeth because you could be grinding away natural defences such as enamel.

    • Wow one of the lucky ones.

  • I'm a dental student so here's my take on it.

    To be honest I don't think it is really that important if you do before or after as long as you brush in the morning.

    Plaque accumulates on teeth about 30 mins after you brush but at its initial stage it doesn't do much damage. The real damage is done when the plaque accumulates, the bacteria metabolise sugars and produce acids that cause decay.

    So if you brush before breakfast the plaque is gonna be back on your teeth by the time you're at work.

    And if you brush after, there is a small chance that you could wear your teeth away if you have a highly acidic breakfast but I would say the risk is minimal.

    Bottom line is brushing is better than not eating and then not brushing

  • Yes mom, I brush my teeth!

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