Family Dentistry in Olathe KS: Should I Spit-out Toothpaste?

Family dentistry office Olathe Dental Care Center wants to make sure our patients know and understand the best practices for good oral health. That includes debunking any myths and providing accurate answers to their questions. We want to share with you a revelation cast down from the Oral Health Foundation – ”spit, don’t rinse.” This may come as a surprise to many people, but toothpaste is actually not designed to be rinsed away after being applied to your teeth. This means many Americans are making this mistake, daily.

A common routine recommended by family dentistry, and performed by most Americans every day, is brushing their teeth after meals. However, even though it is one of the most commonly practiced habits in the whole country, many people aren’t aware they are brushing incorrectly. People often develop their own personal hygiene rituals when brushing their teeth, but some of these practices may actually be mitigating its effectiveness. The particular practice in question: rinsing-out, instead of spitting out the toothpaste, after brushing your teeth.

Our family dentistry team promotes the use of fluoride products at least once daily. One of the main ingredients of toothpaste is fluoride, and it is singularly important in fighting tooth decay. Tooth enamel, (the hard outer shell of your teeth), is made from the essential minerals calcium and phosphate. Bacteria in your mouth will consume carbohydrates from sugar, producing acid that strips both the calcium and phosphate from the protective enamel. The fluoride in saliva bonds together with the essential minerals, forming fluorapatite crystals within the enamel, as a strong deterrent to tooth decay. Saliva helps fortify your teeth by coating them with naturally occurring calcium and phosphate.

Rinsing your mouth after brushing is a mistake because when you rinse your mouth out you are removing the fluoride before it even has the chance to crystallize in your enamel in a way that increases the prevention of tooth decay. Spitting-out excess toothpaste is the only way to allow the fluoride in your saliva to go to work.

Cavities form when acid produced by bacteria breaks down the enamel similar to dissolving the mortar between the bricks in a wall. Saliva, alone, is not naturally capable of preventing tooth decay from the vast quantities of sugar in the modern human diet. Family dentistry promotes the regular use of fluoride because it fuses together the so-called “bricks and mortar” to protect the integrity of tooth enamel and prevent cavities. 

At Olathe Dental Care Center family dentistry, we believe that preventing tooth decay is the purpose of brushing teeth. You are not brushing your teeth just to clean their outer surfaces; the primary objective is to brush in fluoride. Providing fluoride to tooth enamel is to compensate for the number of acids (produced by the sugar that we consume) that it was never meant to handle. The purpose of brushing your teeth is more about making your teeth stronger than it is about cleaning them. When you rinse-out toothpaste after brushing your teeth, you are literally washing away the actual primary benefit of having done so.

Olathe Dental Care Center