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Should You Rinse After Brushing Your Teeth?

Family brushing their teeth.
Viktoriia Hnatiuk/Shutterstock.com

We all have our own ways of brushing our teeth, but is there a “correct” way? According to the experts, you might want to eliminate one post-brushing step from your routine.

According to both the Oral Health Foundation and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, if you rinse after brushing, it’s time to call it quits. Turns out, you should be spitting after brushing instead of rinsing—but why?

Well, when you rinse, the water could be removing the protective fluoride your toothpaste left behind.

The fluoride is designed to strengthen your tooth enamel and help ward off decay, and if you think switching out your water rinse for a mouth wash rinse is the answer, it’s actually not. Most mouthwashes contain less fluoride than toothpaste, so you’re still eliminating some of that quality protection you’re getting from brushing.

If you want to rinse, when should you do it? According to  Dr. Rob Raimondi, a New York City dentist, you should rinse first thing in the morning. Overnight, our salivary glands stop producing saliva allowing bacteria to grow, and rinsing first thing in the morning helps eliminate it. Then, you should floss, and finally, brush.

So, whether you brush before or after breakfast, you might wanna start skipping that final rinse.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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