Although it’s not something we think about too often, taking care of ourselves can be a lot of work. We hated brushing our teeth when we were kids, still hate it now, but we hate the dental bill more when we don’t take care of our teeth and gums.
So, we begrudgingly go through the steps two to three times a day. But, according to a viral TikTok from a dentist, we’ve been doing it all wrong. Here’s what you need to know.
Dr. Onkar Mudhar is a dentist from Essex in England who also has a TikTok profile. He often shares tips for people about taking care of their teeth. For example, he shares information on what harmful things, such as vaping, can do to your teeth and gums. In addition, he talks about how to clean your retainers, getting braces, what piercings do to your teeth, and gives best practices when it comes to brushing your teeth.
Recently, Dr. Mudhar shared a post about mouthwash. Specifically, letting all of us who thought we were adults and taking good care of our mouths know that it’s all been a lie.
“If you use mouthwash, there’s a big chance you’re using it all wrong,” he said. “Let me tell you why.” Using the green screen feature in TikTok, behind Dr. Mudhar was a selection of common mouthwashes like Listerine. “Products like these are intended to freshen your breath!” he said. “They don’t do anything for your teeth or gums.”
They don’t do anything. Nothing. Except the mouthwash might be doing more harm to our teeth. Why?
“If you use mouthwash after brushing your teeth like in TV shows or movies,” he continues, “you’re getting rid of the beneficial impact of toothpaste. This is because you’re washing away the fluoride from the toothpaste on your teeth.”
Fluoride, obviously, is the main thing in our toothpaste that protects our teeth. “If you’re going to use mouthwash,” Dr. Mudhar says, “use it at a separate time from brushing; otherwise, it’s a waste of time and money.”
Well, consider us schooled. And slightly horrified.