When is the Right Time for Brushing the Teeth: Before or After Meals?

We have been told for years to brush after every meal. In recent times, the trend of brushing before the meal has caught up with people worldwide. With two divergent views on the same issue, a kind of confusion is bound to crop up. This is why the debate rages on about the utility and futility of brushing after or prior to every meal.

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Why brushing the teeth after the meal is important?

We try out different kinds of food items right through the day. Not all of them require us brushing post eating but some do. You will have to brush after eating those foods and drinks high in sugars and carbohydrates because they lead to a creation of bacteria in the mouth.

These bacteria are specific and unique as they start having a negative impact only some 20 minutes after the meal was taken. That’s why it becomes important to brush after the meal to save the tooth enamel.

When is the Right Time for Brushing the Teeth Before or After Meals

Why brushing the teeth after a meal is not always helpful?

There is not always a rosy side to brushing after every meal and you should understand that fully well. In some case, this habit can have an adverse impact on your tooth enamel. This is true particularly in cases where you eat food items containing citric acids.

So, your tooth enamel will weaken if you stick with the habit of brushing after eating lemons, oranges, and grapefruits etc. What’s more, the sooner you brush after eating these food items, the more intense the harm will be to the tooth enamel. So, stay aware!

Why brushing the teeth before the meal is important?

Brushing before the meal is helpful in many cases. This habit helps a great deal in case you eat an acidic food. Brushing apart, you need to drink a glass of after eating the food item to minimize the impact of acids.

When is the Right Time for Brushing the Teeth Before or After Meals

Things you should know about ‘before or after brushing’

There are lots of things to know to get healthy teeth. The more you know, the better chances you have of having healthy teeth.

So, you should know:

  • Sugary or citric food items are the major cause of bacterial acids that impact the pH level in the tooth enamel.
  • It normally takes some 30 minutes for the pH level to retain normalcy from the time sugary or citric items are eaten
  • Normal saliva flow is not alone helpful in restoring the balance of the pH cause due to sugary or citric items and you may need to chew gums or use an alkaline mouth rinse
  • Brushing should be delayed to some 1 hour after eating sugary or acidic items but flossing can be done to take out the stuck food items.
  • You should brush before eating or drinking to stop cavities as this helps you take out bacteria to a great level.

When is the Right Time for Brushing the Teeth Before or After Meals


In overall, there is no fixed or standard rules when it comes to brushing before or after a meal. It will boil down to the kind of food items you chose. So, be careful and do brush properly for healthy teeth.

Author: Roman Beres

Roman Beres is an expert writer, blogger with strong passion in writing for various topics such as Business, Health/Fitness, Lifestyle, Parenting and lot more. He work with Foxx Dental, which is among the best dentist in valley stream.