Dentist says using mouthwash after brushing your teeth could cause tooth decay

A dentist has issued a warning to urge people to stop using mouthwash after brushing their teeth.

Anna Peterson said it is a common practice that people have been doing for years but it could risk causing "tooth decay".

The registered professional explained: "Using mouthwash after brushing your teeth is going to give you tooth decay, so stop doing it.

She then further explained that the high concentration of fluoride in toothpaste will get washed off by the mouthwash, which comparatively has a lower concentration of fluoride.

"This is a much lower concentration and that is not enough to protect your teeth from sugars that you eat and drink," Anna said before taking out a Department of Health-approved booklet.

"And in our evidence-based toolkit booklet, 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."

She added in the comments that mouthwash is best to use after eating.

The guidebook, which is accessible on the government's website, stated: "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.

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"Choose a different time to use mouthwash, such as after lunch. Don't eat or drink for 30 minutes after using a fluoride mouthwash."

Leading oral care company Colgate-Palmolive mentioned the NHS advice online, but it also stated the American Dental Association suggested people may choose to use mouthwash before or after brushing based on personal preference.

"That said, mouthwash manufacturers may recommend an order based on their product's ingredients, so check the label on your product to ensure that you maximise its effects," it added.

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