Are These Common Breakfast Habits Ruining Your Family's Teeth?

Breakfast is often described as the most important meal of the day, because of its ability to fuel you with energy to make it to lunchtime. However, breakfast can play a big role in the health of your family's teeth, too. Here's what you might be doing wrong that can have negative effects on everyone in your home.

Timing Morning Brushing

Chances are that you've been told by your dentist that you should ideally brush your teeth twice a day; once in the morning, and once at night before bed, or after dinner. This is true, but how and when you brush your teeth can actually end up doing more harm than good.

If your family typically brushes their teeth in the morning, then they're doing a good thing by getting rid of plaque and bacteria that's formed since the night before. However, how and when you brush is important depending upon what you're eating and drinking. Here's a look at some of the most common issues.

When To Brush

When your family brushes their teeth is important. There's no one right answer here on when you should do it, as it's based upon your family's personal breakfast habits.

For example, imagine for a moment that your family's breakfast contains a fair amount of sugar. Maybe you eat pancakes or cereal in the morning; anything containing added sugar can be hazardous to teeth. In this situation, brushing after eating the morning meal is best so you can get rid of the sugar that's left behind in the mouth. Otherwise, it can end up fueling bacteria and may heighten your entire family's risk for cavities.

However, this same schedule isn't ideal if your family drinks juice with breakfast, especially citrus juice. Juices contain acids that temporarily cause the enamel on teeth to soften. When this happens, it's easier for bacteria to cause damage and decay to the teeth. To make matters worse, brushing immediately after drinking acidic juice can cause permanent damage to the dental enamel. In this situation, you can either stop drinking juice with breakfast, or you can make sure that there's enough time to compensate for it before your family brushes their teeth for the morning. To do this, make sure everyone rinses with or drinks a good amount of water after having their juice. Wait a few minutes and then you can gently brush your teeth. This will allow time for the enamel to harden again, preventing you from hurting your teeth.

If you've been either drinking juice or eating sweets at breakfast and then making these brushing mistakes, it's a good idea to seek local family dental care. The entire family's teeth may be at risk right now, so it can get everyone back in good shape.