Why You Should Not Rinse Your Mouth After Brushing
“A lot of my patients say that they rinse their mouth with water after brushing their teeth. But if you rinse your mouth, you are reducing the amount of fluoride you have in your mouth. The whole point of brushing your teeth, is to mechanically remove the plaque, but also to saturate your mouth with the right amount of fluoride. If you rinse your teeth, you’re diluting that effect.”
- Dr. Bhavin Patel from 53 Wimpole Street (London)
How Can Fluoride Protect Your Teeth?
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural cavity fighter. It’s a natural mineral, found in water and often added to foods, oral care products and even public water supplies.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Bacteria and sugars turn into acids that brake down our enamel, the protective surface covering our teeth. Each time you eat or drink sugary foods, an ‘acid attack’ happens, which can lead to tooth decay. This can cause cavities (holes in your teeth) or even lead to infection. To fight cavities and infection, and prevent ourselves from ending up with missing teeth, we need fluoride to strengthen this enamel and reduce the impact of destructive acids.
The most effective way of preventing tooth decay is to brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. You can find the amount of fluoride on the side of the tube. This amount is measured in parts per million (ppm).
Which fluoride toothpaste is the best for you?
The most effective decay-preventing toothpastes contain 1350-1500ppm fluoride. If you, or your child, is at higher risk of tooth decay, your dentist may advice you to use higher-dosed fluoride toothpastes.
- Children under 3 years old: brush twice a day, use a toothpaste containing no less than 1000ppm fluoride
- Children between 3 and 6: brush twice a day, use a toothpaste containing more than 1000ppm fluoride
- Adults: brush twice a day, use a toothpaste containing 1350 to 1500ppm fluoride.
You can also use fluoridated mouthwash, but not right after brushing since this would wash away the fluoride from your toothpaste. Try using mouthwash at alternative times when you’re not brushing.
Remember: don’t rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth!
- Spit out excess toothpaste
- Don’t rinse your mouth!
- Don’t eat or drink for 30min. after brushing
Let the fluoride work its magic!
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