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Dentist explains why you should never brush your teeth after breakfast

What does your morning routine look like? An energising run followed by a cold shower? Hitting snooze three times before getting out of bed? We all start our days differently, but there’s one part of the morning routine that we should all be doing a certain way, according to a viral TikTok video.

Anna Peterson from Essex is a dental therapist (a health professional who does some of the more straightforward work undertaken by a dentist). In a video shared on her dentistry TikTok account, Peterson says you should never brush your teeth after breakfast – always do it before.

“There’s two reasons for this,” she explains to her followers. “When you eat breakfast, your mouth becomes acidic, so what you’re doing 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’re going to eat.”

Her advice backs a report from toothpaste brand Colgate, saying that brushing your teeth after eating can “sometimes” affect your tooth enamel.

It might come as a bit of a shock for anyone who assumed it was better to brush your teeth after breakfast in a bid to get rid of the food you’ve just consumed.

In the comments section, one follower asserted: “Not all dentists agree on this. Some dentists say it’s fine as long as you leave 30 mins after eating/drinking.”

Healthcare group Bupa agrees that, if you do brush after food, it’s best to wait at least an hour after eating as this gives saliva time to neutralise acids in the mouth caused by foods.

The NHS website doesn’t have specific advice on whether you should brush your teeth before or after breakfast. It advises you to always brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for about two minutes each time to help keep your teeth and mouth healthy.

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