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Verify: Is it best to brush your teeth before or after breakfast?

A viral Tik Tok says it's harmful to brush your teeth after eating breakfast. 13 On Your Side verifies this claim.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Toddler smiling while brushing her teeth

A video posted to TikTok and other social media platforms has a lot of people talking about when they brush their teeth.

The article was posted by UK dentist Anna Petersen. In it, Peterson says “Did you know you shouldn’t brush your teeth after breakfast? Always before.”

People commenting on the video are split about whether what she says is accurate.  After more than 139,000 shares, 13 ON YOUR SIDE decided to Verify her claim.

Petersen says, “So what you do when you brush your teeth after breakfast is brushing the acid into the tooth and this wears away the enamel. And brushing before breakfast protects your teeth from anything you eat.”

13 ON YOUR SIDE talked to two experts:  Dental Hygienist Aubrey Taylor from Partners in Dental in Kentwood and the American Dental Association.

Taylor says Petersen’s advice is based on solid science. Typically, people brush their teeth after they eat and before they head off to school or work. She says when you drink a cup of coffee or have a bagel, the chemical makeup in your mouth becomes more acidic.

“The PH in your mouth changes when you eat,” says Taylor, “bacteria develops to breakdown the food, and when you brush, the bacteria spreads.”

Taylor says the bacteria you spread around can damage your enamel.

The American Dental Association backs up Taylor’s advice. The ADA’s official recommendation is to wait at least an hour after you finish eating to brush your teeth. Taylor says a half hour is probably long enough.

To help speed up the process, the ADA suggests drinking a glass of water after you eat and chewing sugar-free gum to help neutralize your saliva more quickly.

So, our experts have verified that brushing your teeth immediately after you eat can be harmful to your teeth. If you would like something Verified email us at Verify@13OnYourSide.com or text Verify at 616-559-13-10.


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