It’s natural to spit out all the foamy toothpaste after you brush your teeth. Some people like to rinse their mouths out after spitting out the toothpaste, while others choose not to. The correct thing to do depends on whom you ask–there are mixed opinions regarding whether or not you should rinse your mouth out after brushing. Should You Rinse After Brushing Your Teeth?
Many people rinse their mouths after brushing their teeth because they don’t want any leftover toothpaste in or around their mouth. Toothpaste can stay in and around the mouth for a while after brushing and rinsing out your mouth gets rid of all the leftover toothpaste. Another reason why people rinse their mouths is because that’s how they were taught at a young age. As common as it is to rinse your mouth after brushing, it may not be the best thing for your teeth. The Oral Health Foundation recommends flossing or using mouthwash instead of rinsing with water after brushing your teeth. Always consult with your dentist when you have questions about your oral hygiene.
The Effects of Rinsing After Spitting
Toothpaste contains a mineral called fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay by remineralizing enamel and making teeth more resistant to acid attacks. Rinsing your mouth can prematurely wash out the fluoride that is working on your teeth. By spitting out toothpaste then not rinsing it out with water, the fluoride in the toothpaste will remain in your mouth and continue to be effective. It may be difficult to break the habit of rinsing after brushing, but it might be good to start trying. Leaving residual toothpaste in your mouth can reduce tooth decay.
Although mouthwash may contain fluoride and is therefore thought to protect against tooth decay, using any kind of mouthwash straight after brushing your teeth can wash away the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste left on your teeth. Unfortunately, when you rinse immediately after brushing, you are removing the fluoride from your teeth. The Oral Health Foundation is encouraging people to stop rinsing their mouths after brushing their teeth, as new research reveals many of us are putting our oral health at risk by making this mistake.
Why Not Use Water?
Some people mistakenly believe that rinsing their mouths with water after brushing is beneficial to their oral health. In fact, the reverse is true because water washes away any fluoride left behind by the toothpaste. As it washes away the fluoride, it also removes any benefits that the toothpaste would have provided for your teeth. Fluoride is an essential ingredient of toothpaste because it helps strengthen enamel and make it stronger. This makes it resistant to tooth decay. Using mouthwash during rinsing will not dissolve the fluoride nor wash it away.
Rinse Or Not To Rinse?
For most of our patients, the question of whether to rinse or not rinse their mouths after brushing is a common one. While it is true that rinsing your mouth with water helps remove debris and plaque from your teeth and gums, rinsing out your mouth with water after brushing can also wash away the fluoride from your toothpaste. Fluoride is important for maintaining proper oral hygiene standards, so if you have to rinse your mouth after brushing, then use a mouthwash instead of water. Remember to check with us first if you need help finding a mouthwash that is approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).