To Rinse or Not To Rinse

At Cosmetic Dentistry Associates, we aim to provide our patients with all the information they need to take the best care of their smiles. Rinsing your mouth out with water is a common step that people take extra care of their smiles; however, there are occasions when you should avoid doing so.

Rockland County, NY dentist office

Our Rockland County, NY dentists provide additional information on when and when not to rinse your mouth out with water below:

Saltwater Rinses

After intensive dental work, you may be sent home with aftercare instructions that include suggested saltwater rinses. Saltwater rinses are recommended after procedures that may make it more difficult to brush and floss around the affected area for a few days. For example, after a tooth extraction, it’s recommended to avoid irritating the extraction site for the first few days to allow it to heal properly.

Instead of brushing and flossing around the extraction site, utilize a saltwater rinse to cleanse the area. The salt will help keep the extraction site sterile and prevent infection. Gently swish the water around in your mouth to dislodge any food particles in hard-to-reach areas. After a few days, the extraction site should be healed enough for you to return to your normal brushing and flossing routine.

After Midday Meals

It’s a good idea to rinse your mouth out with water following snacks or midday meals when brushing and flossing are not convenient. This will help keep your breath fresh and keep your smile clear of food residue. It’s important to never substitute brushing and flossing; however, when you are in need of on-the-go dental care, rinsing your mouth out with water is great for keeping your smile moist and free of food particles.

You may also consider chewing sugar-free gum to dislodge any food particles in hard-to-reach areas. Make sure that in addition to rinsing your mouth with water, you are also staying hydrated. Drinking lots of water will help you swallow with ease and keep your teeth strong by washing them with calcium, phosphate, and fluoride.

After Brushing Your Teeth

Many of us utilize toothpastes or mouthwashes that contain active ingredients to target specific dental concerns like dental sensitivity, tooth decay, or dental staining. When you immediately rinse your mouth with water after brushing your teeth or using mouthwash, this washes away all of the active ingredients that are intended to sit on your smile. Rinsing your mouth out with water immediately after brushing will make your products less effective than intended.

You should avoid eating, drinking, or rinsing for at least thirty minutes following brushing your teeth. For more information on taking good care of your smile, schedule an appointment with Cosmetic Dentistry Associates. We can help you restore your dental health and your peace of mind in our Rockland County, NY dentist office.