May 16, 2024

Experts Don’t Recommend Rinsing Your Teeth After Brushing


Have you always rinsed your teeth with water after brushing them? If so, we recommend taking that step out of your routine because there are actually some benefits to leaving that extra bit of toothpaste on your teeth. I used to rinse after brushing my teeth — even going back over them with a wet toothbrush — to remove any remnants of toothpaste left in my mouth.

Why you should skip rinsing with water after brushing your teeth

Fluoride is an important ingredient in toothpaste that helps make the enamel harder and more resistant to acids that cause cavities. Hewlett says it’s the most well-established effective ingredient in toothpaste, so make sure yours has fluoride in it.

When you brush your teeth, you’re cleaning any film and bacteria from food and sugary drinks. When you go a step further and skip rinsing, you’re leaving the fluoride from the toothpaste in your mouth for a longer time, giving you a better effect from the fluoride. Wait at least 15 minutes after brushing to drink water. After brushing your teeth, Hewlett explains, your saliva will clear the toothpaste out so you won’t taste it all day.

What if you’ve been rinsing all your life?

If you’re just finding out about this tip, you may be thinking you’ve been undoing all your hard work of brushing every day. That’s not true. Hewlett says as long as you brush the standard twice a day for 2 minutes each time, the fluoride will remain in your mouth to help protect your teeth.

You’re still doing what you need to do to have good oral health to protect your teeth. The idea of not rinsing is just an extra step to help the fluoride be even more effective.

“When you measure a person’s fluoride levels in saliva, if they don’t rinse, there’s more fluoride,” Hewlett said. It’s not going to be a waste of your time if you do rinse. He said research is still being done to determine the difference it makes in the long term to prevent cavities.


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