Can you eat after brushing your teeth? (5 Pieces of Advice)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you eat after brushing your teeth? We will discuss the reasons to avoid eating immediately after brushing your teeth and vice versa. We will also shed light on some good oral habits that benefit teeth.

Can you eat after brushing your teeth?

You can eat 30 minutes after brushing your teeth. Eating immediately after brushing can make your enamel weak. If you plan to eat acidic foods such as citrus fruit, wait for an hour instead of thirty minutes.

Why should you avoid eating after brushing your teeth?

When you brush your teeth, the enamel becomes vulnerable. 

It is important to brush your teeth after you eat to get rid of the food particles and prevent the build-up of bacteria. Brushing does not remove bacteria; it turns the microbes inside the mouth. The bacteria do not accumulate and form plaque on the surface of teeth. Also, the fluoride from the toothpaste protects the teeth from damage.

Even minutes after you brush, the bacteria on teeth resume their cycle. The bacterial plaque harbors the available acidic bacteria in the mouth, which consequently leads to oral problems, cavities, and other diseases. 

Contrary to popular belief, brushing does not wipe off bacteria on your teeth. You only hinder the growth of bacteria. The mouth does not have a sterile environment, which contributes to the flora of the mouth. 

Moreover, when you brush, good bacteria produce a sticky substance called pellicle, which protects teeth from abrasion and the development of bad bacteria.

Why do we advise you not to eat after brushing at night?

If you skip brushing for a night, the plaque accumulates and multiplies way faster than it would otherwise. If food debris is lodged in your mouth after you eat, the colonized bacteria grow at an exponential rate. If you lean towards sugary foods, the process hastens because the flora lets bacteria thrive.

Therefore, if you eat after brushing, reproduce and grow twice in number in just 20 minutes and produce acids in the mouth. When you wake up, you will notice a fresh bio-film of bacteria.

Besides distributing the microbes in the mouth, it also rinses out food particles in the mouth. When you go straight to bed after brushing at night, you do not have carbohydrates to encourage the bacteria to reproduce and excrete.

Oral bacteria such as Streptococcus Mutans and Streptococcus Lactobacillus produce an acid called lactic acid, which weakens the enamel. If you provide less food to the bacteria, the less they grow and thrive. Hence, produce less acid.

Why is it significant that you brush your teeth after eating?

Healthcare professionals and dental associations recommend that you brush your teeth twice daily. While eating a balanced diet and avoiding sugary and acidic food is helpful; you need to clean your teeth regularly as well.

The outer layer of teeth is called the enamel. Then enamel has the important job of covering the surface of teeth and protecting them from wear and tear. The tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the body which needs adequate care to perform its function.

If a person fails to maintain and care for their teeth, it leads to sensitivity to temperatures, discoloration, chipped teeth, tooth decay, and gum diseases.

It is also immensely crucial that you follow a proper oral care regime. Alongside brushing, you need to floss daily. Be careful not to brush your teeth for too long and use gentle motion. Use a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Do not rinse your mouth immediately after brushing to let the toothpaste do its job effectively. You also need to clean your teeth and the roof of the mouth. 

Other FAQs about Personal hygiene which you may be interested in.

Can mouthwash go bad?

Are oranges bad for your teeth?

Listerine can go bad?

Can you brush your teeth immediately after eating?

After you eat, delay the brushing process for at least twenty minutes. However, if you consume sugary or acidic food or drink, you need to wait for long until you eat. Some foods, such as those with a low pH, make the enamel sensitive. When you brush your teeth immediately after eating, you abrade the enamel and make it weak.

Therefore, it is important to wait until you eat after you brush your teeth but follow the same vice versa. 

After you eat, your mouth produces saliva to neutralize the acid. 

After you eat or drink anything acidic, your mouth needs at least 30 minutes to reach a neutral ph. If you brush your teeth before the mouth can establish its pH, you risk eroding the teeth’ enamel.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you eat after brushing your teeth? We discussed the reasons to avoid eating immediately after brushing your teeth and vice versa. We also shed light on some good oral habits that benefit teeth.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.