Dentist warns using mouthwash after brushing your teeth does more harm than good

Between brushing our teeth, using floss, and swirling mouthwash, we might think we’re doing all we can to keep our pearly whites in top condition.

But one dentist has warned that using mouthwash directly after scrubbing our teeth with toothpaste “is going to give you tooth decay, so stop doing it”.

Anna Peterson shared a video on TikTok urging people against it, and after being inundated with questions, said: “You want an explanation, here it is.

“Your toothpaste that you brush your teeth with has around 1450 parts per million fluoride, your mouthwash has only 220 parts per million fluoride.

Anna Peterson
Anna said you should be using mouthwash after meals, not after brushing

“This is a much lower concentration and it’s not enough to protect your teeth from sugars that you’re going to eat and drink.

“So when you brush your teeth, and then you rinse with mouthwash straight away, you just rinse off all the high concentration fluoride for a very low concentration fluoride.”

Anna says the advice is stated in the guidelines issued to dentists, and adds that “all dentists should be following this”, adding: “And by no means am I against mouthwash, because I actually do recommend it to my patients, but not every patient needs it.

“And I certainly don’t tell them to use it after brushing.”

She advised that mouthwash can be a “fantastic product” to use, if used at the right time of day.

The dentist said that after consuming food or drink, the sugars spark an “acid attack” in your mouth, and brushing after eating just spreads the acid around, but mouthwash is great at rinsing it out.

So instead, she advices brushing your teeth before and after bed, and using mouthwash when needed after meals.

When some viewers commented to say they rinse with water after brushing, Anna added: “Rinsing with water is worse than rinsing with mouthwash, just brush then spit out the excess, try not to rinse.”

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