I bet you didn’t know that rinsing with water can be such a controversial topic…
In fact, I’d be willing to put money on it!
You might be thinking: “Well, I already use mouthwash!”
Or maybe: “I always rinse my mouth STRAIGHT after brushing!”
Whilst it’s a good start… you’re not quite there yet.
There’s a lot to take in when it comes to rinsing your mouth with water.
Some people love it, but others just hate it. So – what makes rinsing such a divisive subject? Should you rinse with water or not? Why wouldn’t you rinse your mouth out?
Confused? Let’s jump right in.
Why You Should Rinse Your Mouth Out
What happens when you finish brushing your teeth? Is your mouth full of foam? (Because if it isn’t, you’re not doing it right.)
Naturally, if you have a mouthful of a foamy, minty toothpaste, you’ll want to get rid of it right away – so it’s easy to take a cup of water, gargle it and spit. That way, you’ll get rid of the excess toothpaste along with any food or bacteria that could have been stuck in your teeth.
You’ll also be removing the fluoride from your mouth, which if swallowed, might upset your stomach.
It makes sense, right? Why wouldn’t you rinse your mouth out with water?
Let’s investigate further…
Why You Shouldn’t Rinse Your Mouth Out With Water
On the other hand, rinsing with water might actually be bad for your tooth brushing routine. But do you know why?
Fluoride is the chemical found in toothpaste; that’s what makes it work!
The reason that dentists (like me!) tell you to brush for 2 minutes is that it gives the toothpaste enough time to properly work. However – most people don’t brush for the recommended length of time. In fact, most people spend less than a minute brushing their teeth.
When you rinse with water, you’re potentially washing away any remnants of toothpaste, including the fluoride that makes it work.
That could mean that even though you are brushing your teeth, it might not be as effective as it should be.
See – this argument’s just as good as the first one! So, what should you do?
Comparing The Facts
It doesn’t take a dentist to know that there’s truth in both arguments. Rinsing is a divisive matter – so how do we counter this? What are the facts?
Well, to make matters even more confusing… even scientists don’t know.
Recent studies have shown that:
- Rinsing with water DOES flush the fluoride
- Rinsing ALSO removes bacteria and food particles
- Fluoride CAN cause an upset stomach
- Not rinsing with water can decrease the likelihood of cavities
There really is no hard evidence on what you SHOULD be doing! Keep reading to find out MY opinion on the matter.
You know the benefits of rinsing. You also know the benefits of not rinsing.
What should you do?
It might not be what you want to hear, but it really depends on your preference!
Whilst there have been studies on the effectiveness of rinsing, the results only indicate that there COULD be an advantage of one over the other. Some people are prone to cavities, or might have poor dental health. If your teeth chip, crack or break easily, it’s strongly recommended that you DON’T rinse after you brush. Similarly, if you consume a lot of sugar, you should probably avoid rinsing. If you don’t fit into these categories, then it’s really based on your own preference.
Just make sure that if you do choose to rinse, you do it with warm water.
Oh, and PLEASE make sure you brush your teeth for long enough.
Who’d have thought that rinsing could be so tricky?
At the end of the day, whether you should rinse or not is a matter of opinion.
As long as you do brush your teeth at least twice a day, for around 2 minutes each time, you’ll be able to keep your teeth in great condition.
Make sure you use mouthwash!