Is it preferable to brush one's teeth before or 30-60 minutes after breakfast?

I found plenty of blog posts / testimonials but no actual scientific studies. I'm looking for the latter.

Waiting at least ~30 minutes before toothbrushing has been shown to be useful in a few studies, e.g. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14684979:

It is concluded that for protection of dentin surfaces at least 30 min should elapse before toothbrushing after an erosive attack.

Here is an example of some dentist advising to toothbrush before breakfast:


Brush and floss your teeth after you eat. This is the most logical answer .You do not want bacteria eating the left-overs in your mouth from breakfast . Remember to floss . Take responsibility for the food that can not be brushed or removed between your teeth.

Brushing teeth before or after breakfast look very similar but the options they considered were before vs. what after breakfast. They didn't consider comparing before vs. 30 minutes after breakfast. As a result, it isn't a duplicate.

https://www.quora.com/Should-you-brush-your-teeth-before-or-after-breakfast?share=1 contains some arguments in favor of before and after:

  • arguments for brushing before:
    • Bacteria begin to metabolize sugars into acids almost instantly.
    • Salivary calcium levels are lowest in the morning putting your teeth are at a much higher risk of acidic damage from bacteria and dietary acids in the morning than at any other time
    • Better to brush with fluoride toothpaste before so you have some fluoride left in your mouth when eating. That fluoride will immediately protect your teeth from the acidous attack of consumed carbohydrates and acidic foodstuff.
  • arguments for brushing after (waiting >~30 minutes):
    • gentle brushing can help neutralize the pH in the mouth after a meal. Obviously, if you eat something acidic which will temporarily demineralize your teeth, don't start scrubbing away.
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JohnP
    Nov 12 '18 at 14:35
  • 1
    Could anyone answer the question "Is it preferable to brush one's teeth before or 30-60 minutes after breakfast?" with either before, after, or doesn't matter, with some scientific reference? That's only what I'm looking for. The linked question isn't a duplicate as it doesn't answer that question Nov 12 '18 at 15:36
  • Am a bit torn on this. The other Q is very similar. You just want a much more specific timeframe analysed? Still very similar then, and even less useful than the more generic other Q; only that the existing answer could be a lot better… I see mainly 2 options now: edit this still further into "different" territory; or offer a bounty detailing what you're missing in the dupe's answer? Nov 14 '18 at 14:59
  • 2
    @LangLangC I want to analyze a different timeframe. In the other question, the options they considered were before vs. right after breakfast, which is much easier to answer (see ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14684979 quote in my question). They don't compare before vs. ~30-60 minutes after breakfast. As a result, I don't see how it is a duplicate. Nov 14 '18 at 20:12

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.