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On Phil & Mel in the Morning, we aim to keep you informed about things happening in and around Charlotte, but we also tackle some of life’s deepest quandaries. For example: Should you brush your teeth before or after your morning coffee?

I have two approaches to this. During the week, I always brush my teeth before coming to work, which is where I drink my morning coffee. I don’t keep dental supplies at the office, so I don’t brush after my coffee. On the weekend, I go right from bed to the coffee maker and brush my teeth after coffee and breakfast. None of my teeth have fallen out yet.

What do the experts say? I suspected that most dentists would tell you to brush your teeth after drinking coffee to minimize staining. Here’s what I found on Healthline.com: “…brush your teeth about 30 minutes after drinking coffee, and only after rinsing your mouth with water. Remember, coffee is acidic. Brushing your teeth immediately after eating or drinking anything acidic weakens tooth enamel and causes staining.”

Christina Meiners, a dentist at CommuniCare Health Centers in San Antonio, disagrees. She told Huffington Post that brushing your teeth before drinking coffee removes plaque buildup and makes it more difficult for stains to adhere. In other words, keep your teeth clean so the coffee won’t stick to them. Meiners says she brushes her teeth first thing in the morning, drinks her coffee, and then swishes and rinses her mouth with water to help neutralize the acidity.

It appears that rinsing with water between drinking coffee and brushing your teeth is a really important step. Also, if you do brush your teeth after coffee or breakfast, it’s best to wait at least 30 minutes.

Phil & Mel enjoying coffee

Phil Harris/WKQC