Anna Peterson, a dentist located in the United Kingdom, recently shared a piece of wisdom on TikTok: always wash your teeth before eating breakfast. The clip soon gained widespread attention, but viewers were divided over the warning.
"Did you know you shouldn't brush your teeth after breakfast? Always before," says Peterson in the clip.
She explains: "There are two reasons for this. 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," she continues, "brushing before breakfast protects your teeth from anything you're going to eat."
While the suggestion may appear strange, Peterson's ideas are scientifically supported. According to Healthline, "while you sleep, plaque-causing bacteria in your mouth multiply." as evaluated by Jennifer Archibald, DDS.
"That's part of why you may wake up with a 'mossy' taste in your mouth and 'morning breath,'" they added. "Washing those bacteria right out with a fluoride toothpaste rids your teeth of plaque and bacteria. It also coats your enamel with a protective barrier against acid in your food."
Meanwhile, the Mayo Clinic recommended that "if you've eaten an acidic food or drink, avoid brushing your teeth right away." It might sound counterintuitive, but "these acids weaken tooth enamel, and brushing too soon can remove the enamel."
Additionally, the fact that many morning meals are acidic strengthens the rationale for brushing before breakfast. Numerous fruits, such as citrus, berries, pineapples, and grapes, all have a low pH. Additionally, coffee, grains (particularly oats, a breakfast favorite), and cheese are included. If you have breakfast, there is a good likelihood that at least some of it will be acidic.
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However, commenters had a varied reaction to the clip, which soon accumulated over 844,000 views and hundreds of comments.
"I've always told people this," one viewer wrote, "but it seemed as though I was the only one."
"I do this all the time and tell my students this when we are learning about ... health and nutrition in PE," another echoed.
Having said that, some viewers took issue with Peterson's warning. "Not all dentists agree on this," one spectator observed. "Some dentists say it's fine as long as you leave 30 mins after eating [or] drinking."
Others called the suggestion "rubbish" and "ridiculous."