Caring for your pearly whites starts with great at-home habits. If you have ever noticed other’s teeth that look absolutely amazing, while others not so much, there is a noticeable trend as to how a person gets a fabulous smile, and that is staying vigilant on cleanings both at home and in the dentist’s chair. One of the age-old questions, should you brush teeth before or after breakfast, has been debated and the solution has been found. Keep reading to find out a few tips and tricks that can improve the appearance and health of your smile.

Morning Brushing

Perhaps one of the most unpopular times for people to interact with others is right when the wake-up. While some people aren’t morning people, their sunny disposition isn’t the concern. Instead, it is bad breath. Almost no one wakes up with a pleasant smelling breath. Some will awaken to flavors of something that had at dinner the night before, while others might have an underlying dental problem that causes a less than fresh scent. But all these things lead to questioning whether or not you should brush before or after breakfast.

Sure the idea of going straight from the bed to the bathroom makes more sense, than going to the kitchen, which is why many think that before eating breakfast, doing a quick brushing is the best idea. However, one of the worst flavor combinations come from mixing orange juice or milk, or even coffee with the potent flavors provided by most toothpaste and mouth rinse manufacturers. Combine this with eating will leave food particles behind, leads people to assume, after you eat breakfast is the ideal time. So which is it? The experts have all agreed that brushing BEFORE breakfast is the healthiest solution to maintaining great teeth.

While it can be confusing to say, “Well if I brush my teeth before eating, won’t they need to be cleaned? Doesn’t this go against everything we were taught at a younger age?” Indeed. For most of us, we were always taught to brush after meals. So why is it so important to brush before breakfast? Your teeth have enamel. Enamel is the hardest substance found in the human body. However, it can become fragile due to the foods and drinks we consume. Very acidic foods, much like that glass of orange juice mentioned above, will weaken the enamel. If you were to go and brush your teeth right after, it is similar to using a high power, industrial strength cleaner on your teeth.

Don’t skip breakfast to merely avoid the debacle of which is the right choice brushing before or after either. It is essential to maintain a healthy diet to encourage stronger teeth. If cleaning after breakfast isn’t something you are entirely on board with, because of mixing flavors, wait at least 30 minutes after eating then brush.

Mouthwash Before or After Brushing?

Aside from when to brush in the morning, another favorite question people have about caring for their teeth is when the appropriate time to use mouthwash is? Mouthwash can be somewhat abrasive. It can help loosen debris and provides that minty fresh breathe we enjoy so much. When it comes to when should you be using it, the answer is to use mouthwash BEFORE brushing. Mouth rinse will essentially wash away all the excellent fluoride you just applied with the toothpaste, making it counterproductive to use after brushing. Many experts agree to skip the mouthwash in the morning, and perhaps use it after lunch as a refresher and cleanser.

How Long Should I Brush My Teeth?

Are you a quick brusher or like to take your time and hit all the nooks and crannies? The question of how long should you brush your teeth often comes up in the dental offices across the country. More importantly than how long should you spend, it comes down as to how throughout you are and how effective you are with your brushing technique. On average it is suggested that two minutes is plenty of time to get the job done. Don’t also forget to brush your tongue while brushing at home. This will remove bacteria, and help to keep your breath smelling good.

Brushing Your Teeth Correctly

This was one of the hottest topics to come from the dental field in the last twenty years — the idea of the best way to brush your teeth to achieve maximum efficiency. While the more natural concept of sweeping from side to side has always seemed like the easiest thing to do, it isn’t the best way. Instead, dentists recommend that you brush up and down on the tooth. If you look progression of toothbrushes, you will see that the spin brushes are more designed for this action. Moving up and down on a tooth allows the brush to get under the gumline removing plaque and food debris better.

What is Activated Charcoal Toothpaste? Should You Be Using It?

The hottest trend today for at-home cosmetic teeth care is using charcoal toothpaste to help achieve a whiter smile. These products do work, but it is important to know that they don’t reach the same level of whitening that can be accomplished in chairside professional service at the dentist’s office. Activated charcoal toothpaste shouldn’t be used daily, because it is extremely abrasive and can possibly damage the enamel of the teeth. If you would like to try this at home product for whiter teeth, stick to once a week usage, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions.


So now that we have gone over many of the commonly asked questions about caring for your teeth at home, and possibly settled some age-old questions like brush teeth before or after breakfast, it is essential to put them to use. Just to recap and highlight the essential facts about maintaining healthier teeth follow these great tips:

-Brush before breakfast
-Use an up and down motion while brushing
-Don’t use mouthwash after brushing
-Charcoal toothpaste is excellent for occasional use
-Brush for at least two minutes per session

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