Surprising tip from the dentist05.09.2022
You should stop rinsing after brushing your teeth and start a new routine. To remove any toothpaste residues, I used to rinse my teeth thoroughly after brushing. This method isn’t the best, and this was something I discovered last year while browsing TikTok.
Instead, I now spit out toothpaste as much as I can and don’t swish with water to allow the toothpaste do its job a bit longer. However, I didn’t know why I did this or the benefits until I talked to an expert.
I spoke to Dr. Edmond Hewlett (consumer advisor to the American Dental Association, UCLA School of Dentistry) to learn why water shouldn’t be rinsed from your mouth after brushing your teeth. Here’s the answer.
Why it is important not to rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth?
Fluoride, an important ingredient in toothpaste, helps to make enamel stronger and more resistant against acids that can cause cavities. Hewlett states that fluoride is the most effective ingredient in toothpaste. Make sure you have it in your toothpaste.
Brushing your teeth removes food particles and bacteria. If you skip the rinse, the fluoride from your toothpaste is left in your mouth longer, which will give you a better fluoride effect.
Drink water at least 15 minutes after you brush your teeth. Hewlett says that your saliva will remove the toothpaste from your teeth so it won’t stick to your teeth all day.
What if you have been rinsing your entire life?
This tip may seem like a way to undo all the hard work you put into brushing your teeth every day. This is false. Hewlett states that as long as you brush your standard twice a day, for at least two minutes, fluoride will still be in your mouth to protect your teeth.
To maintain good oral health and protect your teeth, you’re still doing the right thing. It’s just an additional step to make fluoride more effective.
Hewlett stated that when you test a person’s fluoride levels in saliva it is determined that if they don’t rinse, the fluoride level is higher. It’s not a waste of time to rinse. Research is ongoing to establish the benefits of rinsing to prevent cavities in the long-term.
Your dental health is also important
Hewlett stated that there are many risk factors for developing cavities. Fluoride toothpaste should be used if you don’t usually get cavities. It won’t matter if you rinse your mouth after brushing.
For those with severe cavities, it is better to not rinse. Your dentist should be consulted to determine why you are getting cavities frequently. This could be due to your eating habits, sugary snacks, or not brushing your teeth enough. You should prevent cavities if you are at greater risk.
Is it okay to use mouthwash after brushing your teeth?
You can get the same effect as if you use fluoride-containing mouthwash. It’s the same as rinsing with water, except that it doesn’t contain fluoride.
More tips for your teeth
These are additional tips to keep your oral health in top shape.
- Use a soft bristle toothbrush and not medium or hard. Hewlett states that anything other than soft can increase the chance of gum recession.
- It doesn’t really matter if flossing is done before or after brushing your teeth. All that matters is that you floss at least once per day to remove any plaque or stuck food.
- To get your teeth clean, you don’t need to brush them vigorously. Although it may seem like you can get your dishes cleaner by using more force, it is not necessary and could cause gum recession.
- To prevent gum disease, gently brush the gum line using a soft bristle toothbrush.
- For personalized advice, consult your dentist. They will help you understand your oral health profile.