Should I Rinse My Mouth Out With Water?

At Coastal Cosmetic + Implant Dentistry, we strive to ensure that our patients have all of the information they need to improve and maintain their dental health. Your at-home oral hygiene routine is your smile’s first line of defense when it comes to protecting your teeth from the harmful effects of gum disease and tooth decay.

While rinsing your mouth out with water can sometimes be good for your dental health, in some cases, patients should avoid rinsing. Dr. Sinclar and Dr. Reichley, your trusted Virginia Beach dentists, provide additional information on when and when not to rinse your mouth out with water below:

Saltwater Rinses

If you’ve recently undergone an invasive dental procedure, saltwater rinses may be an essential part of your aftercare instructions. A saltwater rinse is when patients are instructed to make a homemade solution combining 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Once the salt is fully dissolved, patients should gently swish the rinse around in their mouths, avoiding swallowing it.

Saltwater rinses are usually recommended to keep any incision sites or soft tissue abrasions clean while they heal. Because the affected area may be tender for a few days following the procedure, saltwater rinses are a good alternative to brushing or flossing. The rinse will keep the area clean, helping patients avoid infection. Once the affected area is healed, you may return to your regular at-home oral hygiene routine.

After Midday Meals

While patients should brush and floss twice a day to maintain their dental health, these activities are not always convenient when you are outside of your house. If you spend most of the day outside of your home, working, or at school, consider rinsing your mouth out with water following midday meals or snacks. This will help prevent dry mouth as well as wash away food residue left behind on your teeth.

Chewing sugar-free gum may also help dislodge any food particles stuck between your teeth. The goal is to keep your breath fresh and your smile free of food residue to avoid plaque and tartar buildup and dental discoloration while on the go. Once you return home, you should brush and floss as usual.

After Brushing Or Using Mouthwash

Many patients utilize kinds of toothpaste or mouthwashes that contain active ingredients that combat plaque and tartar buildup, tooth discoloration, and dental sensitivity. These ingredients are essential for these products to perform as intended. When you rinse your mouth out with water immediately following brushing or using mouthwash, these ingredients get washed away as well.

Because these ingredients are meant to remain on your teeth, this may impact your overall dental health. Patients are advised to avoid rinsing their mouth out with water immediately following brushing or using mouthwash.

If you would like to learn more about improving your at-home oral hygiene routine, or if you are looking for a new dentist office in Virginia Beach, VA, schedule an appointment with Coastal Cosmetic + Implant Dentistry.