To Rinse Or Not To Rinse

Boise ID dentist officeAt LIFESmiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, our goal is to help our patients improve and maintain their dental health for many years to come. One common step in people’s oral hygiene routines is rinsing their mouths out with water. While, in some cases, this is a good thing to do, there are some instances where you should avoid rinsing your mouth out with water. Our experienced Boise, ID dentists detail when and when not to rinse your mouth out with water below:

Saltwater Rinses

If you’ve undergone an extensive dental procedure, you’ve likely received aftercare instructions that include at-home saltwater rinses. Saltwater rinses are recommended when your soft tissues are still healing from a dental procedure. For example, if you have a tooth extracted, the extraction site will be tender for the first few days following the procedure. Instead of brushing and flossing around the extraction site immediately following the procedure, you should gently rinse your mouth with saltwater. Homemade saltwater solutions can be made by adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a cup of water. The salt will help keep the extraction site sterile, while the water will help wash away any food particles. Once it has healed enough for you to comfortably brush and floss, you may resume your traditional at-home oral hygiene routine.

After Midday Meals

One great way to keep your breath fresh and avoid dry mouth throughout the day is to rinse your mouth out with water following midday meals or snacks. Rinsing your mouth out with water is a quick fix to oral hygiene concerns that are likely to develop when you are on-the-go, away from your toothbrush or toothpaste. Many people spend most of their days outside of their home at work or at school. However, midday meals and snacks can take a toll on your oral hygiene. In addition to rinsing your mouth out with water, you may also consider chewing sugar-free gum to dislodge any food particles in hard to reach areas. Once you return home, you should resume your usual oral hygiene routine.

After Brushing Your Teeth

You should not rinse your mouth out with water immediately after brushing your teeth. Many of us utilize dental care products that contain active ingredients to combat tooth sensitivity, cavity development, and dental staining. However, if you rinse your mouth out with water immediately after brushing, these active ingredients get washed away. The active ingredients in mouthwashes and toothpastes are intended to remain on your smile for at least 30 minutes. Avoid rinsing your mouth out with water, eating, or drinking anything for at least 30 minutes following your at-home oral hygiene routine. To learn more about how to properly care for your smile, discuss your oral hygiene with a trained dental hygienist during your next visit to our Boise, ID dentist office. If it has been over six months since the last time you sat in the dental chair, schedule an appointment with us today.