To Rinse Or Not To Rinse

Arlington Heights dentist officeA common practice that people do to keep their mouth fresh is to rinse it out with water. While this is normally helpful, there are occasions when rinsing your mouth out with water does more harm than good. Dr. Brent Engelberg is your local Arlington Heights dentist. He provides helpful insights on when and how to rinse your mouth out with water, as well as when to avoid doing so, below:

Saltwater Rinses

If you’ve recently undergone an extensive dental procedure, you may have noticed that your dentist recommended saltwater rinses in your aftercare instrutions. For example, a tooth extraction is an extensive procedure that often requires your dentist to make an incision into your soft tissues to properly remove a tooth. Immediately following these kinds of proedures, patiients may find it diffuclt to brush and floss around the affected area. Saltwater rinses are recommended because they can help keep incision sites and soft tissue abrasions clean while they are beginning to heal. The salt helps sterilize the area and helps to prevent infection. Once the area has healed enough for you to comfortably brush and floss again, you no longer need to uitlize the saltwater rinses.

After Midday Meals

Midday meals are often a challenge for many patients. Because many people spend their days out of the house, either at work or at school, it can be difficult to maintain a fresh and clean smile throughout the day when brushing and flossing are not as convienent. If you are unable to brush and floss after midday meals and snacks, rinsing your mouth out with water will help dislodge any remaining food residue as well as keep your mouth moist. Avoiding dry mouth helps to keep your breath fresh when you cannot brush or floss. Additionally, chewing sugar-free gum will have a similar effect. Once you return home, you should brush and floss as usual to maintain your dental health. However, there’s nothing wrong with a quick rinse to keep things clean while you’re out and about.

After Brushing Your Teeth

A common mistake that we see patients make in our Arlington Heights dentist office is rinsing their mouths out with water after brushing their teeth. You should avoid rinsing your mouth out with water immediatelty following brushing your teeth. This is because many different kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes contain active ingredients used to fight plaque buildup, increased sensvitiy, or dental stains. When you wash these ingredients away after brushing your teeth, this makes the products significantly less effective. Allow these ingredients enough time to coat your smile before rinsing with water. Your dental health will thank you. To learn more about improving your at-home oral hygiene routine, schedule a dental cleaning with our talented team of dental hygiensts today.