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Should You Rinse After Brushing Your Teeth?

February 12, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — riverplace @ 10:07 pm

Toothbrushes in plastic cupYour toothbrush is the most important tool you have at home to keep your teeth and gums healthy. The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. If you’re like many people, you have a set routine: brush, rinse, and spit. While you might have followed this habit for years, your dentist may recommend one small change to safeguard your pearly whites – don’t spit right away, and here’s why. 

Should You Rinse After Brushing?

If you can’t stand the gritty sensation of toothpaste on your teeth after brushing, a quick rinse with water or mouthwash can leave your smile feeling fresh and clean. However, you may not give your toothpaste enough time to do its job. 

Fluoride is found in many kinds of toothpaste because it’s known to strengthen enamel to make it more resistant to decay. It’s a naturally occurring mineral that can be applied directly to teeth to improve dental health. Since you’re not supposed to swallow toothpaste, spitting it into the sink is the next step after brushing, but don’t rinse your mouth just yet. 

Rinsing your mouth too soon won’t allow your teeth to absorb the fluoride and other beneficial ingredients. It’s best not to rinse for 10 to 30 minutes after brushing. Dental professionals also recommend not eating or drinking during this time. If you can’t resist a quick rinse, use water instead of mouthwash.

Revamp Your Brushing Routine

Spitting too soon isn’t the only mistake you can make when brushing your teeth. If you aren’t using the right products or methods, you can leave your smile vulnerable to cavities and gum disease. You can get the most from your brushing routine by following a few easy tips:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that has earned the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. Change your toothbrush every 3 months or when worn, whichever comes first. 
  • Choose nonabrasive fluoride toothpaste that is supported by the American Dental Association. 
  • Brush all surfaces of your teeth for at least 2 minutes in the morning and night, but strive to brush after every meal. 
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue and the insides of your cheeks. 

Although brushing is effective, your toothbrush can’t reach everywhere in your mouth, like between your teeth. Brushing alone can leave 40% of your teeth surfaces uncleaned. Flossing is the only way to clean areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Floss between each tooth at least once daily to keep your gums healthy.

Besides caring for your smile at home, visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup. They’ll help you achieve optimal oral health for a beautiful smile that will last for a lifetime.  

About Dr. Megan McInnis

Dr. McInnis earned her dental degree from Texas A&M Health Science Center and has regularly continued her education in advanced services. She is a proud member of many professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Request an appointment through our website or call (503) 822-6045 to schedule a cleaning and checkup.

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