I’ve Been Brushing My Teeth Wrong My Entire Life

I’ve Been Brushing My Teeth Wrong My Entire Life

Do you spit or rinse after brushing your teeth? It’s a question that was posed by Queensland Health earlier this week online and it was at this point that I learned I had been approaching my teeth-brushing habits wrong all along.

While the results of the poll were evenly split, with 50.5% of voters saying they rinse, QLD Health took this opportunity to point out that rinsing is actually not the right course of action.

As a decades-long rinser, I am mind-blown by this piece of information. A quick poll of my colleagues had similar results, finding that nearly 50% of us remain serial rinsers. The others apparently knew that there is some benefit to avoiding the post-brush rinse.

Upon researching this I found that there are in fact numerous sources out there advising us of this oral health fact.

SA Dental had a similar statement to QLD Health, saying that by not rinsing “fluoride in the toothpaste will stay on your teeth for longer helping to keep them strong.”

Toothpaste company Sensodyne goes into this a bit further saying:

The active ingredient in most toothpastes is a mineral called fluoride. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by remineralizing the enamel and making teeth more resistant to acid attacks. Rinsing your mouth can prematurely wash out the fluoride that is working on your teeth. By spitting out toothpaste then not rinsing it out with water, the fluoride in the toothpaste will remain in the mouth and continue to be effective.

The same goes for using mouthwash immediately after brushing, as Sensodyne points out this will also wash away the fluoride left by your toothbrush. However, it does suggest you rinse after flossing your teeth to help remove any bits of dislodged plaque or food.

The easiest switch for your routine here seems to be to switch from rinsing after brushing to rinsing after flossing instead, which should hopefully also serve as a reminder to floss!

This is just the latest lesson I have learned far too late in life. If you want to see some other things you should’ve known sooner please enjoy this list.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply