The Surprising Thing You Shouldn’t Do After Brushing Your Teeth

Unless you’re one of the select few who brush their teeth once a day, most of us brush our teeth twice a day; before bed and after we wake up. These are the times you crave for that minty fresh breath and clean feeling. Though I take my oral hygiene seriously, as we all should, apparently you’re not supposed to rinse your mouth after brushing it?!

Dental Hygienist at the Harley Street Dental Studio in London Sally Goss explained in the Daily Mail, “We encourage people to spit out excess toothpaste when they have finished brushing, but not to rinse. This is because toothpaste contains fluoride which strengthens the teeth, so leaving the residue of toothpaste means this fluoride stays around the teeth for longer and so helps make them stronger.”

Berkeley Wellness also said, “First, what’s most important is just to brush—at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, using proper technique. That said, to retain more fluoride in your mouth, you should rinse with as little water as possible, especially if you are prone to cavities.”

“Several studies have found that less is more when it comes to rinsing. For instance, in a small study in the International Dental Journal in 2013, rinsing once after brushing resulted in higher fluoride retention than rinsing three times.”

They also suggest you sip a tiny amount of water and mix it with the toothpaste foam to swish the “slurry” around spit it out. Berkeley Wellness reports, “In a Swedish study in Caries Research in 1996, people who rinsed with a toothpaste slurry (made with one teaspoon of water) for one minute had higher concentrations of fluoride in the plaque between teeth than those who did three quick rinses with more water. This may have practical value, since ordinary toothbrushing doesn’t clean those areas well.”

This is definitely a habit that will need to be introduced slowly – not sure if I’ll be able to resist rinsing.