Have we been brushing our teeth wrong? Maybe, if you use mouthwash after brushing your teeth!
A London-based dentist, Anna Peterson, went viral on TikTok as she explains if you use mouthwash after brushing your teeth– you’re doing it all wrong! In the clip from TikTok, she says, “Using mouthwash after brushing your teeth is going to give you tooth decay, so stop doing it.”
After going viral, the video has prompted many questions. Anna has created other videos going more into detail on why it’s not good to use mouthwash after brushing. She explains that toothpaste has way more fluoride than mouth wash. The mouthwash isn’t going to have enough to protect your teeth from sugars after you eat and drink. Rinsing with mouthwash right after brushing is basically washing the high concentration of fluoride off your teeth, leaving a lower amount, making your teeth more vulnerable.
The American Dental Association says that this may – or may not – be correct, depending on your mouthwash type.
“The question of whether to rinse before or after brushing may depend on personal preference; however, to maximize benefit from the oral care products used, manufacturers may recommend a specific order for their use, depending on ingredients,” the ADA website says. “For example, some dentifrice ingredients (like calcium hydroxide or aluminum hydroxide) can form a complex with fluoride ions and reduce a mouthwash’s effectiveness. Therefore, vigorous rinsing with water may be recommended after brushing and before rinsing if these ingredients are present.”
She does say she is not against mouthwash. She said she does recommend it to patients, but “not every patient needs it.” She adds, “I certainly don’t tell them to use it after brushing.”
Anna suggests using mouthwash at a different time of the day, like after lunch. She also encourages people to stay away from food and drink for at least 30 minutes after using mouthwash.
One TikTok user commented, “I floss, then mouthwash, then brush. Does that work?”
Anna says that is fine to do. She adds that mouthwash is best to be used after eating, but there’s no harm in using it before brushing.
So basically… keep using your mouthwash, just not when you usually do!