Should we advise our patients to brush their teeth before or after breakfast? Is there any clinical significance or is this simply an academic issue?
Let us consider each of these in turn. Fluoride has been proven to prevent dental caries by preventing demineralisation of tooth mineral and promotion of remineralisation. If we brush our teeth before breakfast then we remove the build up of dental plaque thereby minimising the acidogenic response of the oral bacteria present to the foods eaten. We also provide intra-oral fluoride at the time it is needed most of all which will prevent demineralisation and promote remineralisation of dental enamel and dentine.
However, if we brush after breakfast the acidogenic response has already occurred and the tooth...
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