How to clean teeth: Dentist’s warning about using mouthwash after brushing leaves internet stunned

A dentist has issued a stern warning on what really happens to your teeth if you use mouthwash straight after brushing.

Anna Peterson, a dental therapist from the UK, shared a TikTok video explaining how the common oral hygiene mistake could lead to serious tooth decay.

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The practitioner urged everyone to only use mouthwash after you eat or before brushing, and never after.

“Mouthwash is a fantastic product to use but you have to use it at the right time of day,” she said.

“Using mouthwash after brushing your teeth is going to give you tooth decay so stop doing it.

“Too many people are still doing it.”

Anna Peterson has issued a stern warning on what really happens to your teeth if you use mouthwash straight after brushing. Credit: Anna Peterson/TikTok

Anna explained how rinsing your mouth out immediately after brushing could actually wash away the toothpaste’s concentrated fluoride from your teeth.

Fluoride protection

She said toothpastes contain an estimate of 1450 parts per million (ppm) fluoride, meaning it has a high concentrate to help protect teeth against tooth decay.

“Your mouthwash has only 220ppm fluoride. This is a much lower concentration and it’s not enough to protect your teeth from sugars that you eat and drink,” Anna said.

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

“By no means am I against mouthwash because I actually do recommend it to my patients… But not all patients need it. And I certainly don’t tell them to use it after brushing.”

Best time for mouthwash

Anna said the best time to use mouthwash was after eating.

The practitioner urged everyone to only use mouthwash after you eat or before brushing, and never after (stock image). Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

“Pretty much anything you’re going to eat will contain sugars of some sort. And what happens when you eat sugars is that your mouth becomes acidic so it drops in pH,” she explained.

“It drops below 5.5 pH which is the critical pH and we call this an acid attack. During an acid attack, your teeth start to dissolve.

“Now if you were to go and brush your teeth at this point, what’s happening is you’re brushing the acid into your tooth and this causes tooth erosion.

“So to get your teeth out of this critical zone, use mouthwash.”

Rinse with water?

Many were stunned by the revelation, with one asking: “What? Everyone rinses with water after brushing. Who is leaving toothpaste on their teeth?”

Anna replied: “Rinsing with water is better than rinsing with mouthwash, just brush then spit out the excess, try not to rinse.”

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