Can You Brush Your Teeth Before A Covid Test?

This blog post will address the topic, “can you brush your teeth before a covid test” and cover topics like can tooth brushing prevent you from getting infected with covid-19 virus, should you wear a mask even after brushing your teeth before a covid test, types of covid test, which covid test gives you a more accurate result, saliva test for covid-19: what not to do before the test and maintaining good oral hygiene during covid pandemic and before covid test.

Can You Brush Your Teeth Before A COVID Test

Yes, you can brush your teeth before a COVID test. Infact, brushing and gargling before a COVID test is essential for an accurate PCR COVID test result, as per a study report published in Wiley Public Health Emergency Collection.

According to the report, poor oral hygiene after recovering from COVID-19 may leave some non-infectious viral nucleic acid in the oral cavity which may influence the PCR COVID-19 test result.

Can Tooth Brushing Prevent You From Getting Infected With COVID-19 virus?

No! There is no significant proof or study that suggests tooth brushing to prevent you from COVID-19.

However, a recent study done by colgate-palmolive concluded that tooth brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and using a therapeutic mouthwash may have a role in temporarily decreasing the amount of COVID-19 virus in the oral cavity.

The same report concludes that there is no strong evidence to suggest that oral care products and oral practices like tooth brushing and mouthwash is a way of preventing, treating or curing COVID-19.

Should I Wear A Mask Even After Brushing My Teeth Before A COVID Test?

Yes, it is essential and of utmost priority to wear a mask and follow the local guidelines accordingly.

Wearing a mask is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Brushing teeth may reduce the viral load in the oral cavity but it has not been proven to treat, or cure, or prevent COVID-19.

Brushing teeth and maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for an accurate COVID test.

Types Of Covid Test


  • Test for the presence of viral nucleic acid or remnants of the viral material
  • Most accurate and reliable and can even detect small amounts of viral particles
  • Takes more time than antigen test but is more sensitive


  • Antigens are surface proteins of the virus
  • Antigen tests detect these proteins when virus attacks our body
  • Accurate only during initial days of infection as the antigen amount is high
  • Takes only 15-30 minutes
  • Less sensitive than PCR Test

Which Covid Test Gives You A More Accurate Result?

PCR test is more sensitive and will give you a more accurate result compared to an antigen test. However, PCR takes more time than an antigen test for COVID.

After How Long Will You Receive Your Covid Test Results?

You may receive your test results after 24 hours of sample collection. However, some may receive it after a few days depending on the location and distance of the laboratory from the sample collection center.

Saliva Test For Covid-19: What Not To Do Before The Test 

Saliva test is not accurate and not reliable. The PCR test is used as a more accurate and reliable test for COVID-19.

However, if you are about to get a saliva test, ensure to not do the following before the test:

  • Do not eat, drink or smoke one hour before a saliva test.
  • Do not brush, or floss, or use mouthwash one hour before a saliva test.

Common reasons for the failure of a saliva test include excess of saliva or very little saliva in the sample, or some remnants of food or toothpaste in the saliva given.

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene During COVID Pandemic And Before COVID Test

Tooth Brushing

It is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) to  brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a toothpaste containing fluoride. 

It is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning, just after waking up and once at night, just before going to bed.

You must also clean your teeth and gums, each time after you have food but not with a toothbrush. Simple rinse with water is considered good for overall oral health and hygiene.

While considering when to brush your teeth, you must keep in mind the type of food you just had. 

Do not brush immediately after having any acidic food or drink as these acids weaken tooth enamel, and brushing immediately can cause enamel wearing or erosion making your teeth more susceptible to developing cavities.

Use gentle, short strokes to brush your front teeth and thoroughly clean your mouth without abrading the enamel.

Brush the outside surfaces as well as the back molars and upper areas of your chewing surfaces. Brush the inside surfaces of both top and bottom front teeth by flipping your toothbrush upside down.

Brush your tongue to get rid of any bacteria, or viral particles or plaque.


Many people, despite knowing the benefits of flossing daily, just neglect it.

According to a study, flossing is highly effective in reducing the interproximal caries risk. 

Daily floss can help stimulate your gums and reduce plaque leading to lesser inflammation risk.


Therapeutic mouthwashes, as the name suggests have therapeutic action and control dental conditions like gingivitis, tooth decay and periodontal diseases. They also help remove halitosis and have even been studied to neutralize the COVID SARS CoV-2 virus.

Therapeutic Mouthwashes contain ADA listed active ingredients such as fluoride, peroxide, essential oils, cetylpyridinium chloride, and chlorhexidine, all regulated by the FDA and have been known to neutralize the COVID virus.


This blog post addressed the topic, “can you brush your teeth before a covid test”. We understood if tooth brushing can prevent you from getting infected with covid-19 virus, should you wear a mask even after brushing your teeth before a covid test, types of covid test and which covid test gives you a more accurate result.

The article outlined the saliva test for covid-19 and what not to do before the saliva test and also some oral routine practice for maintaining good oral hygiene during covid pandemic and before covid test.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs): Can You Brush Your Teeth Before A Covid Test

When are rapid tests for COVID-19 most useful?

Rapid tests are antigen tests and therefore more useful when the symptoms of COVID-19 have just shown up. 

During the initial symptoms, the viral load is maximum, making rapid antigen tests the most reliable and accurate test.

How long does it take for symptoms of the coronavirus disease to appear?

COVID-19 symptoms may appear within 5 to 14 days of being exposed and infected with the COVID-19 SARS CoV-2 virus.

How Can You Differentiate between asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic COVID-19?

Asymptomatic COVID-19 patient is the one who does not show any symptoms even after being infected with the virus.

Pre-symptomatic COVID-19 patient refers to the one who has been infected with the coronavirus and will develop the symptoms later within 5-14 days.

Can pre-symptomatic transmission occur with coronavirus disease?

Yes, pre-symptomatic transmission can occur with coronavirus disease. The patient who has been infected develops the symptoms after 5-14 days known as the incubation period.

During the incubation period, the infection can be transmitted and the person who comes in contact with the infected person may develop coronavirus disease.

How long is the quarantine period for COVID-19?

Quarantine period for COVID-19 lasts for 14 days. However, isolation lasts until the patient is free of COVID-19 symptoms and the PCR test has come back negative.

Other FAQs about Teeth brushing that you may be interested in.

Can You Brush Without Toothpaste?

Can You Brush Your Teeth Too Much?

Can You Brush Your Teeth With Hydrogen Peroxide?


Warabi Y, Tobisawa S, Kawazoe T, et al. Effects of oral care on prolonged viral shedding in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Spec Care Dentist. 2020;40(5):470-474. doi:10.1111/scd.12498

New-Research-For-Toothpaste-And-Mouthwash-Effects-On-Covid-19-Virus. Colgate

COVID-19 and PCR Testing. (2021)

Tips for avoiding a rejected COVID-19 saliva test. (2021)

How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy During the COVID-19 Outbreak. (2020)

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