There are many ways to get a clean, refreshing feeling from brushing your teeth. You can change the brand of toothpaste you use, change out the toothbrush, or brush your teeth after every meal. Brushing with the right technique is the most effective way to keep your teeth clean and plaque-free. But here, the question is not about effective oral care; rather, it is about a basic question – wetting your toothbrush before or after applying toothpaste.
You might’ve observed that most people focus on only two toothbrush-wetting approaches, but there are, in fact, three: wet the brush before, wet the brush after, or don’t wet the brush at all.
Each approach has practical benefits:
Wetting before moistening the toothbrush bristles and rinsing off debris from the mouth.
Wetting after ensures the toothpaste dissolves into your toothbrush, so it doesn’t fall off; also, it minimizes the bad effects of the fluoride if it is used in an inappropriate quantity.
Not wetting your toothbrush; you are following any extra steps between applying toothpaste and brushing.
Usually, it is believed that adding water into something such as toothpaste or mouth wash can cause it to become diluted. As a result, it may lose some or full effect on the teeth. This can make brushing or rinsing waste time, money, and energy. Thus, adding water and toothpaste is never suggested as it could perhaps reduce the effectiveness of the toothpaste. After applying toothpaste to their toothbrush bristles, many people mix water in their brushing practice.
People who wet their toothbrush hold many different reasons for it, which includes:
- It helps to moisten the toothbrush, forms bubbles, and creates enough foam to clean the whole mouth.
- It helps to keep the paste on the toothbrush. It is the best way to keep the paste on after putting it on the toothbrush.
- Although there are no real effects, some people do it because they are following the preconceived notion that it would help in eliminating the possible risk of bacteria attack on the bristles before brushing.
Mixing water into your toothpaste could dilute it and less affect your teeth. Hence, if you like to run their toothbrush underwater after applying the toothpaste, be sure that it’s only for a brief second. Using too much water could lead to problems with your teeth, such as bacteria attacks in your mouth.
Do you add water into your mouth wash?
Adding water to your diet is a good thing to do. It can even help improve your teeth if it contains fluoride, but adding an immoderate amount of fluoride to your diet can lead to stomach pains and other serious conditions resulting from overconsumption of fluoride.
Always prefer to rinse off your mouth with fresh water after brushing your teeth. This will flush off any remaining toothpaste. The moment you swished the water around your mouth, spit it out into the sink. While spitting, have a close look if you see any blood in your spit. If you observe a red hue to the white foamy toothpaste, your gums are inflamed or infected with bacteria. You can also notice blood if you are currently suffering from gum disease. Be cautious of this and immediately speak with your dentist or hygienist.
Make sure you never swallow toothpaste, mouth wash, or any oral care product for your teeth, as it can be very hazardous. Just in case, if you have done so in large amounts, contact poison control immediately. The toothpaste or dental products you are using should have a direct number to poison control.
The Expert Opinion
Like you, even expert opinion is split into different approaches for the ‘wet or dry’ toothbrush discussion.
Dr. Nigel Carter believes that the most effective way is not to add water and apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. As per Dr. Carter, the water loosens the bristles and makes them less useful in cleaning teeth. Moreover, he also proposed that brushing for two minutes before going to bed each night is a healthy habit. According to Dr. Carter, using the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle is the best way to remove food particles and bacteria from along the gum line.
Professor Damien Walmsley, a scientific adviser to the British Dental Association, concluded that toothpaste is a way to get fluoride onto the teeth. Fluoride makes teeth more resistant to decay. However, as per Walmsley, what is more, important is that fluoride comes in contact with the teeth, and a wet toothbrush is expected to make the experience of brushing your teeth more enjoyable. He also recommends brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, one of which should be the last thing at night.
The American Dental Association also does not think; differently they also recommend brushing twice a day. Although the view is divided about brushing before or after breakfast for the first time in the day, everyone agrees that the second time to brush teeth should be after dinner. This makes sense, as the bacteria build-up will occur much quicker if food debris is in the mouth overnight.
Wetting before or after, these two approaches do not have an overwhelming advantage. Rather, it would make more sense if you followed consistent brushing habits and used effective brushing methods to achieve good oral health.
Unlike toothbrush-wetting, the brushing method is what matters the most! To remove plaque effectively, apply toothpaste, and hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to gums, softly brushing outer and inner teeth surfaces.
Plaque, though, build up behind tooth surfaces. It accumulates between teeth and next to the gum line, causing cavities and gum disease. So, it is advisable to make flossing a part of your regular oral care routine.
Your wetting preference doesn’t matter for strong, healthy teeth. Rather, the key is to follow a consistent habit of brushing and flossing.