The Oral Health Foundation is calling on people to ‘spit don’t rinse’ in a bid to improve their oral health.
These calls come after the foundation carried out a poll as part of National Smile Month, which revealed that 62% of people rinse their mouth out with water after brushing.
‘Rinsing our mouth with water is very bad for our teeth as it washes away the protective fluoride left behind by brushing,’ Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said.
‘Fluoride is the single-most important ingredient in toothpaste.
‘It greatly helps oral health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay.
‘It also reduces the amount of acid that the bacteria on your teeth produce.
‘By spitting toothpaste out then not rinsing with water it ensures that the fluoride found in the majority of toothpastes will remain on the teeth and continues to be effective.’
The poll also found that 14% of respondents rinsed their mouth out after brushing with mouthwash.
‘It may also be surprising to some but using mouthwash directly after brushing is also bad for our teeth as it also rinses away fluoride,’ added Dr Carter.
‘If you do like to use mouthwash, try to use it at a separate time to brushing to ensure that you get the full benefit of the fluoride in your toothpaste.’
Those respondents who rinse their mouth out after washing are also more likely to leave the tap running whilst brushing, the poll revealed, potentially wasting 12 litres of water every time they brush.