Should You Brush Your Teeth Before or After Breakfast

By Ted Gerner | March 18, 2021

I always brush my teeth right after I wake up. Likewise, many people can’t go without brushing their teeth first thing in the morning. You’ve probably guessed, we aren’t a fan of the mossy morning breath. Besides, brushing earlier wakes you up for a brand-new day. But what about after breakfast? I often feel the need to brush again.

There are others who hate the taste of toothpaste leaves in their mouths. They can’t have their meals properly and can only brush their teeth once they have eaten their breakfasts. So, shouldn’t that gather even more bacteria in their mouths?

Should you brush your teeth before or after breakfast is a tricky question, but the answer to it? Let’s find out!

Should You Brush Your Teeth Before or After Breakfast?

Whether you should brush teeth before or after breakfast is a matter of personal preference. Yet, scientifically and as most dentist advised, brushing your teeth before breakfast is better for your dental health.

Brushing before your morning mealtime will wash out all the accumulated bacteria inside your mouth from the night before. Getting rid of the plaque will protect your teeth from forming tartar, decay, and any sort of gum inflammation.

However, you may also brush your teeth after breakfast, only, in that case, you should wait for at least 30 minutes to do so. Anyone who intakes high carb, and sugary breakfast, is recommended to brush their teeth before breakfast!

Brushing Before Breakfast

Brushing your teeth, first thing in the morning is a better practice than brushing your teeth after having the first meal of the day. One major reason is the built-up bacteria when you are asleep at night.

At night, when our mouths are more dehydrated, bacteria production increases. The morning breath and sticky feeling is a result of those bacteria. Some people don’t mind waiting with the bad breath a little longer, but what’s vital to know is when we eat our meals in the morning, especially ones containing sugar, the bacteria turns into tooth decaying acid.

Most people have high sugar breakfasts: plates and bowls full of bread, cereal, and pancakes. Plaque producing bacteria may weaken your gum and tooth enamel. Similarly, if you are someone who loves coffee, grape juice, or any other acidic beverage, you may want to brush your teeth before your high carb, acidic breakfast!

Furthermore, since saliva production is slow at night, you may want to wash out the bacteria as soon as possible, so your teeth are less prone to cavity and decay. Proper saliva production in your mouth protects your teeth and gum from infections when bacteria are present.

If you think breakfast just ruined the fresh feeling in your mouth, you can lightly brush it again or just rinse it off your mouth with a good mouthwash to get rid of any food debris and aftertaste.

Brushing After Breakfast

If you are okay with the morning breath and hate the minty palate when enjoying your breakfast, you might still want to brush your teeth after breakfast. In such a situation, be careful to not brush immediately after eating your meal. You’ll also want to avoid certain food that may cause the bacteria in your mouth to turn into an infection.

Dentists recommend you to wait for 30 minutes to 60 minutes before you brush after eating any meal, including breakfast. Waiting an hour could be beneficial for your dental health if you usually have more acidic meals. Raw coffee, orange juice, any soda, bread or cereal are high in sugar and acid content.

If you have breakfasts that are higher in fiber and protein, waiting to brush your teeth till after breakfast may be passable. Even then, it is recommended that you chew a piece of sugar-free gum or gulp down some water before brushing your teeth.


When should I brush my teeth if I practice intermittent fasting and eat OMAD (one meal a day)?

When you are eating just one meal a day, you are not snacking every other hour. Besides, you probably also steer away from high sugary food. In that case, you may brush an hour or two after your meal.

Whether you eat at night or in the morning, bacteria are most likely to build up when you are asleep. When in OMAD, it’s most beneficial to brush after the meal with a 1 to 2 hours gap. If you want your mouth to feel fresh and smell great, you may want to brush in the morning as well. For that, switch to a sugar free option if you are on a strict fasting routine.


Should you brush your teeth before or after breakfast shouldn’t be too hard to decide, as long as you are brushing your teeth at least once a day. Remember, twice is better, according to ADA!

If you want healthy gums and refreshing breath right after you wake up, a pre-meal cleansing is best. It’s also okay to wait, and brush after the meal but then, watch out for the bad guys: sugary and acidic meals.