So, you've been rinsing with water or mouthwash after you brush your teeth. Then someone tells you "oh no, you shouldn't rinse after you brush, my dentist told me so" — but why?
All dentists are taught that you shouldn't rinse after brushing your teeth. This is because the protective fluoride in your toothpaste won't 'cling' onto the teeth if you rinse it off.
Fluoride is important because it ''resurfaces' your teeth and strengthens them, providing protection against decay, sensitivity and bacterial growth. Rinsing the fluoride away too soon may diminish its effectiveness and leave your teeth defensiveness against the acids and bacteria that can attack your enamel.
When you spit out the toothpaste without rinsing, you retain the fluoride on your teeth, providing ongoing protection against cavities and damage.
For some people, the lingering taste and texture of toothpaste in their mouths after spitting (instead of rinsing) is unpleasant. To combat the habit of rinsing after you brush, we would recommend trying different types of toothpaste until you find one that doesn't feel as uncomfortable when you spit instead of rinse.
Can I Use Mouthwash After Brushing My Teeth?
Ideally, you should use mouthwash before brushing, 30 minutes after brushing, or at a different time altogether. Mouthwash has fluoride in it, but the fluoride in toothpaste is more effective. Indeed, using mouthwash straight after brushing can wash away the concentrated fluoride toothpaste left on your teeth, reducing its effectiveness in preventing cavities.
Should You Rinse After Flossing?
Do you floss before or after brushing your teeth? We would recommend that you rinse after you floss to ensure plaque build-up and leftover food is washed out, which might mean you need to floss before you brush your teeth, so the concentrated fluoride in your toothpaste isn't rinsed out.
If you aren't using a fluoride toothpaste (which we don't recommend), then rinsing after brushing won't make a difference.
Brush Fresh is founded and run by a group of UK-based dentists, who specialise in environmentally-friendly and sustainable dental products. From biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes to zero waste toothbrush tablets, our product range has been designed to put both your dental health and the environment first. For more information and dental care advice, head over to our blog page or get in contact with us here.