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Should You Rinse Your Mouth After Brushing Your Teeth?

The Polished Press

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Many people grow up learning to rinse their mouths with water after brushing their teeth. But could it actually be better for your dental hygiene in Carlsbad to not rinse? Some experts, including the U.K.’s Oral Health Foundation, now recommend spitting out any excess saliva or toothpaste after you’re done brushing instead of rinsing your teeth. However, the debate is far from over. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of rinsing after brushing, so you can decide if it’s time to shake up your dental care routine.

Potential Benefits Of Not Rinsing After Brushing

Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. While small amounts of fluoride are found naturally in some foods, it is also added to certain kinds of toothpaste to help improve dental health. Fluoride provides the greatest benefit when it’s applied directly to your teeth and stays put for several minutes. Unfortunately, when you rinse immediately after brushing, you’re washing away a lot of the fluoride in toothpaste before it can strengthen your tooth enamel. To maximize the beneficial cavity-fighting effect of fluoride, spit out excess toothpaste but do not rinse your mouth. In addition, try to avoid eating or drinking for 10 minutes or more after you finish brushing.

Potential Risks of Not Rinsing After Brushing

It’s generally considered safe for most people to stop rinsing after brushing in Carlsbad. However, there are some potential side effects to consider. Specifically, it’s important to avoid ingesting a large amount of any fluoride dental product. Ingesting too much fluoride can result in:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

Fortunately, it would be very difficult to achieve any level of fluoride toxicity simply by swallowing a small amount of toothpaste once in a while. If you typically use the recommended pea-sized amount of toothpaste, you should have nothing to worry about. These side effects more often occur when children ingest large amounts of fluoride products meant for adults.

Takeaway: To Rinse Or Not To Rinse? 

There is no general consensus among experts on whether you should rinse out your mouth with water after brushing your teeth or not. However, you should consider ditching the rinsing step if you are prone to tooth decay. Leaving the fluoride coating on your teeth after brushing will help protect against cavities.

On the other hand, if you feel more comfortable continuing to rinse your mouth after brushing, there are benefits to that route too. Rinsing can help wash away plaque after flossing, remove the taste of toothpaste from your mouth, and prevent you from swallowing too much fluoride.

In the end, the most important thing to remember is to practice good dental hygiene in Carlsbad every day. If you are curious about whether rinsing after brushing will make a big difference for your smile, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist for their opinion.

About The Author

Dr. Megan Shelton has 15 years of experience helping Carlsbad patients achieve and maintain healthy smiles. She is an active member of the Academy of General Dentistry and has even completed advanced training with the KOIS Center, a world-renowned post-graduate level dental teaching center. For more dental hygiene tips, visit the Polished General Dentistry website or call (760) 434-9800.