We all grew up with the culture of rinsing our mouth after brushing our teeth and we have been made to see this act as the proper thing expected of us after brushing. But the question is — is this really the proper thing to do after brushing?
Even though it is natural to have a strong desire to rinse out our mouth with water after brushing, the truth is that it isn’t always recommended for us to do so.
Toothpaste that contains fluoride and other ingredients meant to strengthen our tooth enamel might need a bit of extra time on the surface of our teeth for us to get their full benefit.
Read on to know the reason you should not rinse your mouth with water after brushing.
Why you should not rinse your mouth after brushing
The routine of rinsing our mouth with water after brushing was conceived from the need to protect individuals from swallowing high concentrations of fluoride contained in some kinds of toothpaste as this can be dangerous to human health.
While this act of rinsing the mouth after brushing is established based on the mindset to protect people from ingesting more than the recommended fluoride content, the unfortunate thing is that when you rinse your mouth immediately after brushing, you’re erasing the benefit of applying fluoride to your teeth.
Fluoride, the active ingredient in most kinds of toothpaste, is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay, among other benefits.
Trace amounts of fluoride are found naturally in some of the food that we eat, but it’s also added to drinking water and oral health products to help improve dental health.
Fluoride helps our teeth the most when it’s applied directly to the teeth.
Fluoride that stays put on your teeth for several minutes provides the greatest benefit.
Some experts, including the U.K.’s Oral Health Foundation, now recommend spitting out any excess saliva or toothpaste after you’re done brushing as opposed to rinsing your teeth.
Skipping a rinse after you brush and only spitting the toothpaste out is better, because it leaves a fluoride coating on your teeth to help protect against cavities.
Leave the fluoride on your teeth as you go about your day, and try to avoid eating or drinking for 10 minutes or more after brushing is done as this helps to maximise the beneficial cavity-fighting effect of fluoride.
There is no law that makes it compulsory for you not to rinse your mouth after brushing, but know that not rinsing your teeth after brushing could be beneficial to you, especially if you are prone to tooth decay.
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