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Oral hygiene usually works in the following way: you brush your teeth, sometimes floss, and sometimes use mouthwash. Keeping up with two of those steps is a sign of a careful person, but doing all three means you’re serious about your dental health. According to this TikTok, using mouthwash after brushing your teeth is not the best idea.

The video was made by Anna Peterson, a London-based dentist. She suggests using mouthwash after eating or before brushing your teeth, but not after brushing.

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@annapetersondentalThe explanation you all asked for 🦷#GetGrafting#dentistry#lgbtq#lifestylechangestartsnow#fyp♬ Inspiration – WavebeatsMusic

She explains that toothpaste has a higher fluoride count than mouthwash. If you use mouthwash right after brushing, you’ll be washing off the fluoride and reduce your protection against foods and drinks. The fluoride in mouthwash is not able to protect your teeth against sugar and other harmful agents.

Flouride is very beneficial to your teeth. It helps rebuild weakened enamel, reverses tooth decay, prevents the growth of harmful bacteria, and slows down the natural loss of minerals. You want to keep that on your teeth for as long as you can.

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Photo by HUIZENG HU/Getty Images

While a lot of people like mouthwash for how convenient it is to use, it doesn’t provide the same protection as toothpaste. Mouthwash is a good addition for keeping your breath fresh and preventing different diseases, but it won’t make or break your oral hygiene routine.


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Another oral hygiene rule you should keep in mind is the timing of your brushings. You shouldn’t use mouthwash before eating or brush your teeth right after eating. While using mouthwash before eating is silly and will just ensure your food tastes like toothpaste, brushing after eating is common and can be bad for you. Digestion starts in the mouth and creates an acidic environment that might weaken your enamel and damage it.

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