Why You Should Avoid Rinsing After Cleaning Your Teeth

April 10, 2018

Most of us will have been taught how to clean our teeth by our parents and in all likelihood, this will have consisted of brush, spit and rinse.

This must have seemed like the perfect way to clean your teeth to leave your mouth feeling clean and refreshed.

Oral health guidance changes with new discoveries though, and is just one of the reasons that we recommend that patients see our Cheshunt dental hygienist on a regular basis. Updated advice, along with a professional clean, are a great way to keep your teeth in the best condition possible.


Back to the title of our blog; why should you not rinse after cleaning your teeth? Certainly, this can feel entirely natural to do and does leave the mouth feeling fresh and more hydrated. Unfortunately, this action also means that much of the fluoride in the toothpaste is also washed away from the teeth.

Fluoride is an important component of toothpaste and you should always take care to make sure that your preferred brand does contain it. Fluoride is beneficial to the teeth as it helps to strengthen the enamel, helping to protect it from attacks by sugars, acids and bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Rinsing it away reduces the effect of the fluoride and may leave your teeth more exposed to these problems.

Is fluoride harmful?

It is possible that you may have seen social media posts etc stating that fluoride is dangerous and should be avoided? From a dental perspective, we can tell you that if you do use a non fluoride toothpaste, you will almost certainly need more fillings than someone who uses one that does contain fluoride.

From a  health aspect; like all minerals, if you consume extremely large quantities, there may be some side effects. This is almost impossible to do through everyday use though, and the amount of fluoride in toothpaste, along with any found in natural sources, is highly unlikely to have any negative effects on your health.

Dental fluorosis

It is worth mentioning the one potential side effect that may be noticeable in children’s teeth if they are exposed to high levels of fluoride – fluorosis. This is not dangerous but can affect the appearance of their teeth and small flecks of white or fine lines may be visible if this occurs. This is relatively rare though and the team at The Lodge Dental Suite are always happy to discuss the oral health care of your children as well as your own, if you have any concerns.

So if you have any questions about any aspect of your dental care, we are always happy to answer those during your consultation. Our Cheshunt dental team offer a friendly welcome to all patients, new or existing, and appointments can be made by calling us on 01992 643388.

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