Should I be rinsing my mouth with water after I brush?
Most of us were taught to rinse our mouth with water after brushing our teeth. In this way we remove any excess of the toothpaste and we wash away all of that bacteria that came off our teeth during brushing. Surprisingly, according to the latest guidelines we should “spit and not rinse”.
Fluoride is the most important ingredient of the toothpaste. It helps your teeth to repair themselves when the surface minerals are dissolved. It also makes the enamel stronger and more resistant to caries and it reduces the bacteria’s ability to produce acids.
What is the proper way to wash our mouth?
Rinsing with water after brushing flushes away the fluoride reducing the benefits for your teeth. If you don’t rinse, the fluoride stays around the teeth for longer and so helps make them stronger. If you wish to rinse your mouth, try to minimise the amount of water you use or use a toothpaste “slurry” by sipping a small amount of water and mixing it with the toothpaste foam in your mouth.
Using a mouthwash immediately after you brush your teeth has the same negative effects as it also rinses away the fluoride. If you prefer to use a mouthwash try to use a fluoride mouthwash at a separate time (for example after lunch) in order to “top up the fluoride” and protect your teeth throughout the day.
Although the most important is to brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste using a proper technique, avoiding rinsing your mouth after you brush can protect your teeth especially if you are prone to caries.