Confusion regarding suitable oral hygiene techniques is not uncommon. People often question whether you should rinse your mouth out immediately after brushing.
If you’ve been rinsing your mouth out after brushing for your entire life, you’ve been doing it wrong. Despite the common belief that you should rinse after brushing, rinsing out toothpaste is not recommended. Here’s why:
Reasons To Avoid Rinsing After Brushing
Many of us follow the same routine for brushing: brush, spit, and rinse. Although it is natural to want to rinse your mouth after brushing, we do not recommend it. Rather, we recommend spitting out any excess toothpaste and avoiding the urge to rinse your mouth out with water.
Here, we’ll go through the reasons to avoid rinsing after brushing and the important role fluoride plays in oral health.
Rinsing Washes Away Fluoride
Toothpastes typically contain fluoride, a natural mineral, and other beneficial ingredients meant to strengthen and protect tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. These ingredients need a bit of extra time on the tooth’s surface for optimal function.
Benefits of fluoride include:
Prevents the growth of harmful bacteria
- Helps prevent and reverse the early signs of tooth decay
- Slows down the loss of minerals from tooth enamel
- Helps to rebuild (remineralise) weakened tooth enamel and support the tooth’s natural repair process
- Helps prevent cavities
- May help reduce tooth sensitivity
- Protection against acids produced by the consumption of sugar and carbs
Rinsing after brushing washes away the important tooth protection fluoride can provide. This may leave your teeth more susceptible to damage from bacteria, acid, plaque, and sugar, all of which can lead to cavities and decay.
Fluoride Can Help People of All Different Age Groups
Fluoride provides beneficial cavity prevention for all age groups, making it important to understand how it works.
Fluoride functions by significantly slowing tooth decay by strengthening the enamel. It also boosts remineralisation, the production of fresh, tougher enamel crystals. This strengthens teeth against the harm that can be caused by plaque, acids, and bacteria.
Fluoride Helps Prevent Demineralisation
Demineralisation is the first sign of tooth decay. It happens when the mineral content of teeth starts wearing away due to the acids formed by plaque. This leads to weakened, porous enamel that is prone to cavities and damage.
Fortunately, the body continuously works to counteract demineralisation. Fluoride further assists the tooth’s natural repair process.
The Importance of Using a Mouthwash with Fluoride
Along with refraining from rinsing your mouth after brushing your teeth, consider adding a mouthwash containing fluoride to your oral health routine.
If you rinse with a non-fluoride mouthwash after brushing, you may be rinsing away the benefits of your fluoride toothpaste. However, using a mouthwash with ingredients meant to strengthen and protect enamel may help keep the fluoride levels on your teeth elevated after brushing.
You can use mouthwash separately from your brushing and flossing routine, such as 20 minutes after you brush your teeth. It is especially important to wait to use mouthwash after brushing if your mouthwash does not contain fluoride or has alcohol in it.
Should I Floss Before or After Brushing?
It is generally recommended to rinse your mouth after flossing to clear away any plaque, food debris, or loose bacteria that flossing loosened. For this reason, we recommend flossing before you brush.
Flossing before you brush allows for these particles and debris to be rinsed away while still allowing fluoride to benefit your teeth once you brush.
Additional Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Smile
Many different things go into achieving meticulous oral health. At a minimum, we recommend visiting your dentist for a professional clean twice a year.
To keep your mouth and smile even healthier, we recommended:
- Brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least one or two times per day
- Eating a well-balanced, tooth-healthy diet that includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole foods
- Limiting high-sugar foods and drinks, such as candies and sodas
- Avoiding frequent snacking
- Drinking fluoridated water
- Waiting at least half an hour after brushing to drink any beverages
- Replacing your toothbrush regularly, about every three to four months‚ or sooner if it looks damaged or worn
Avoiding a rinse after you brush may increase your toothpaste’s ability to protect your mouth against cavities, damage, and decay by leaving a beneficial coating of fluoride on your teeth.
This is particularly important if you are prone to cavities due to gum disease, too much sugar in your diet, poor oral care habits, or bad crowns or fillings.
Regardless of whether you rinse or not after brushing, it is important to practice good oral hygiene every day by brushing and flossing your teeth every day.
Get in Touch With 123 Dental
If you want further information regarding intelligent brushing and oral health practices, the exceptional 123 Dental team can accommodate you. Schedule an appointment with our friendly and professional dental clinic today and check our regularly updated blog for brushing and flossing tips, answers to common dental questions, dealing with dental anxiety, oral hygiene for kids, caring for your toothbrush, and more, about every three to four months‚ or sooner if it looks damaged or worn