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Use Mouthwash Before You Brush

Mouthwash Before You Brush?

Regular use of mouthwash is a great habit to get into for continued dental health, but my dentist said something that struck me strange last time I visited. He instructed me to use mouthwash before I brushed, not after. "Before?" I asked. "Are you sure?"

Yes, my dentist was sure. He explained that rinsing before you brush loosens food particles and buildup, making brushing even more effective. There's even a market for the stuff, dubbed "prerinse." If you're a mouthwash-aholic like I am, though, it's best to choose a brand (like Crest Pro-Health) with little to no alcohol content since the alcohol can have a drying effect on your mouth.

The only downside of the pre- and post-rinse: I still love that just-rinsed feeling after brushing, so I end up using mouthwash both before and after I brush my teeth — which means going through twice as much mouthwash.

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Sweetzi Sweetzi 5 years
This isn't a scam to sell more mouthwash- please! My microbiology professor actually brought this up in class since we did an experiment to test the effects of various anti-septic chemicals on bacteria. He said you should use mouthwash before brushing because the mouthwash dissolves the mucus secreted by bacteria that they use to stick to your teeth, thus allowing you to brush and floss them off much easier. Rinsing with just water can't do that.
The-Glamazons The-Glamazons 6 years
I have always done this, its nice to know the dentist agrees.
xdunlapx xdunlapx 6 years
You should use fluoride containing mouthwash AFTER you brush and do not rinse with water afterward. I can see using non-fluoride mouthwash before brushing but the ones that contain fluoride you should do afterwards. If you do use one with fluoride, do not rinse, eat or drink for 30 minutes after swishing.
xdunlapx xdunlapx 6 years
Yeah it does sound like a ploy to get us to buy more mouthwash. I prefer to floss, then brush, then use mouthwash. I like the feeling of a fresh clean just mouthwashed mouth better than the just brushed feeling. I think it's because I prefer spearmint flavor (mouthwash) over the toothpaste taste which is some variation of mint. If they made an enamel rebuilding toothpaste that was spearmint, I'd be set. LOL
Spectra Spectra 6 years
It sounds like a ploy to get us to buy more mouthwash, if you ask me. It's probably just as effective to rinse with water first, then brush, then use mouthwash.
dd-sugar dd-sugar 6 years
I always do this and just use the generic, $1/bottle mouthwash. I eat a lot of high acid foods and you don't want that on your teeth or to brush without rinsing it off. I've rinsed with baking soda, when I didn't have the rinse. Anything to neutralize that nasty acid from staying on your teeth. Good reminder!
jessy777 jessy777 6 years
I have always rinsed before I brush. Mouthwash breaks down food particles better than water, which is why I use it, but I don't floss as often as I probably should.
rach1007 rach1007 6 years
Wouldn't it be more cost effective to swish around some water before you brush? It seems like that would just as good of a job in clearing out food particles, and then you could use mouth wash at the end. This ties in to the floss before or after debate too. I think as long as you are taking care of your teeth, the other doesn't really matter in the end. Just my two cents!
amber512 amber512 6 years
I don't use mouthwash, but I do brush after each meal and floss every night.
KrisB KrisB 6 years
That's an interesting tip. I will have to try it out.
ticamorena ticamorena 6 years
my dentist's never, ever encouraged me to use mouthwash, other than as part of a post-procedure routine. i just brush twice, floss daily, and eat a couple raw carrots. but if i'm staying the night where there is mouthwash i abuse it - the gurgling/swishing and minty numbing feeling is addictive!
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