By Dr. Scott Thompson, DDS, Winning With Smiles
Since 1999, when John Featherstone PhD published his new data on the mechanisms of Fluoride in oral health, I and many prevention oriented colleagues have promoted the concept that one should not rinse after brushing one’s teeth. Just spit the excess foam out and leave the residual toothpaste on your teeth. After all, don’t we tell you the same after your dental appointment where we give you a fluoride application and tell you not to eat or rinse for 30 minutes? Many folks will use a fluoride mouth rinse after brushing for the express purpose of leaving fluoride on their teeth. The same concept can be accomplished by merely leaving the residual toothpaste on your teeth.
If you like to rinse with a mouthwash for other than a fluoride based reason, then I would recommend waiting at least 30 minutes after brushing if you are going to use a non-fluoride mouth rinse.
Despite long term recommendation of this concept by those of us in the prevention oriented segment of oral health, there has been surprisingly little formal research to verify the concept. It was great to see an expert panel convened to review all the available research to date. Their expert opinion of the evaluated research supported the recommendation to “Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste and spit the excess foam, but do not rinse afterward.” Published in the British Dental Journal April, 2012.