In general, the aspects of a great oral hygiene routine are pretty simple: brush, floss, and visit your dentist regularly. However, there’s a common mistake many patients make after brushing. Many people are initially taught to rinse the toothpaste out of their mouth with water after brushing. However, in practice, doing this can eliminate many of the benefits that using a good toothpaste offers in the first place. So want to know why you shouldn’t rinse after brushing? Read on for the details:
Rinsing After Brushing: The Facts
Rinsing With Water Washes Away Fluoride — As any dental professional can tell you, one of the great benefits of brushing with a good toothpaste is the fluoride content that’s in the toothpaste. Indeed, fluoride has properties that help improve the strength of enamel in the teeth and can help catalyze remineralization processes. Nevertheless, many patients will rinse their mouths with water immediately after brushing — an action that removes fluoride from the surface of the teeth and mouth.
Fluoride Needs Time to Work — “So what?” You might be saying. “The fluoride came in contact with my teeth, right?” While fluoride will still be spread across your teeth while brushing, for the true benefits of fluoride to occur, a significant amount of time for fluoride to be in contact with teeth is necessary. Washing away the fluoride immediately following brushing makes this difficult.
If You Need To Rinse, Use a Fluoride Rinse — For many former rinsers, it’s a difficult habit to drop the desire to rinse after brushing. Luckily, there’s a solution. There are many fluoride rinses on the market that you can use to rinse your mouth after brushing. The keyword being “fluoride” — ensure that whatever rinse you use has fluoride as an active ingredient listed. An ADA recommendation is a good indicator as well. Of course, if you elect to use one of these rinses, don’t rinse the rinse out with water afterwards, or you’ll be committing the same offense as before.