Some people can't get to the sink fast enough in the mornings, while others prefer to brush their teeth after they eat breakfast — but is one better than the other? And more importantly, is either habit damaging to your smile? Those are the questions POPSUGAR posed to Julius N. Manz, DDS, a practicing dentist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association.
"Whether you brush before or after breakfast is really a personal preference and won't make too much difference [when it comes to dental health]. But I recommend brushing an hour after you eat a meal, particularly if you're eating or drinking anything acidic," Dr. Manz said.
Acidic foods like that morning glass of orange juice can soften tooth enamel — the hard outer shell that serves as a barrier against bacteria and makes your teeth sparkly white. Naturally, brushing your teeth soon after eating or drinking something acidic will only cause further damage.
If you typically stay away from acidic foods first thing in the morning, it doesn't matter when you brush. But if you do tend to reach for citrus fruit or one of its acidic peers, you should try to brush before or adjust your morning routine so you'll have time to do it later. Whenever you choose to brush, just make sure you do so twice a day for at least two minutes each time. (Doctor's orders!)