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Dentist Explains Why You Should Never Use Mouthwash After Brushing Your Teeth

Dentist Explains Why You Should Never Use Mouthwash After Brushing Your Teeth

London-based dentist Anna Peterson said using mouthwash after brushing can give you tooth decay

Amelia Ward

Amelia Ward

A dentist has explained why you should never use mouthwash straight after brushing your teeth. Watch her explain why here:

Anna Peterson shared her expertise on TikTok, where the London-based dentist has more than 13,000 followers.

Her recent video surprised people who realised they'd actually been performing an everyday task wrong for years.

Anna originally posted a clip in which she simply said: "Using mouthwash after brushing your teeth is going to give you tooth decay, so stop doing it."

After gaining millions of views and thousands of questions, Anna explained what she meant.


She says: "Your toothpaste that you brush your teeth with has around 1450pp fluoride.

"Your mouthwash has only 220pp fluoride. This is a much lower concentration and it's not enough to protect your teeth from sugars that you eat and drink.

"So when you brush your teeth, and you rinse with mouthwash straight away - you just rinse off all the high concentration fluoride, for a low concentration fluoride.

"And in our evidence-based toolkit for delivering better oral health, this is where it says it and all dentists should be following this.

"And by no means am I against mouthwash. Because I do actually recommend it to my patients. But not every patient needs it.

"I certainly don't tell them to use it after brushing."

Anna's video is backed up by the NHS. Its website reads: "Using a mouthwash that contains fluoride can help prevent tooth decay, but don't use mouthwash (even a fluoride one) straight after brushing your teeth or it'll wash away the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste left on your teeth.

"Choose a different time to use mouthwash, such as after lunch.

"Don't eat or drink for 30 minutes after using a fluoride mouthwash."

TikTok users were grateful for Anna setting them straight. One wrote: "OK, nice to know I've been doing it wrong my whole life."

Another wrote: "I floss, then mouthwash, then brush. Does that work?"


Anna replied: "Yes, that is fine to do, mouthwash is best to be used after you eat, but no harm doing it this way."

Elaborating in a third video, Anna explained: "Mouthwash is a fantastic product to use but you have to use it at the right time of day.

"So you'll wake up in the morning, you'll floss your teeth, brush your teeth and then you'll go and have breakfast. And pretty much anything you're going to eat will contain sugars of some sort.

"And what happens when you eat sugars, is that your mouth becomes acidic. So it drops in PH."

"If the PH in your mouth drops below 5.5, it begins what is called an 'acid attack'. If you brush your teeth at this moment, you will effectively be brushing acid into your tooth, and this causes tooth erosion. And that is why you should use mouthwash."

So basically, use mouthwash after eating or before brushing if you want to, but leave your toothpaste on your teeth after you brush them.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@annapetersondental

Topics: Teeth, dentist, Health