Your morning routine may be harming your smile.
Dentists say that it’s actually best to brush your teeth before having breakfast.
“Brushing your teeth before breakfast not only helps to remove this accumulation of plaque from your teeth, but it also gets your saliva production working,” Dr. Sam Jethwa, vice president of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, told the Daily Mail.
“Saliva also helps to kill bacteria in your mouth.”
And, according to Healthline, plaque-inducing bacteria in the mouth multiplies overnight, resulting in a “mossy” taste and rather rancid morning breath. A 2018 study also found that saliva production increases for five minutes after brushing.
Brushing right after an early meal can also harm your dental health, according to Jethwa.
“If you brush too soon after consuming [breakfast] you can cause further damage to the tooth enamel at a time when it is weak and vulnerable.”
Fluoride toothpastes also help stave off acids in foods, according to Dr. Alan Clarke, lead dentist at Paste Dental, a Belfast, Northern Ireland, clinic.
“Brushing before breakfast helps to remove this bacteria and the acidic environment that can harm tooth enamel,” he told the Mail.
Clarke added that brushing your teeth after a glass of orange juice is actually like brushing the acid and bacteria of the OJ into your teeth.
If you do brush your teeth after having breakfast though, Healthline advises waiting at least a half hour.
It “is the best way to ensure that you’re protecting your teeth and not tampering with your enamel,” according to the outlet.