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Why you should wet your toothbrush before brushing

Why you should wet your toothbrush before brushing

Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential for keeping your teeth in good condition. Here's why you should always brush with a wet toothbrush

We often don’t consider the intricate details of brushing our teeth, but did you know that there are specific things we should be doing to ensure we are brushing correctly? One of those is wetting the brush before brushing - seems obvious right? Well, turns out, many people don’t actually do this. Here, Dr Payal Bhalla, Lead Dentist and Clinical Director of Quest Dental reveals why you should always wet your toothbrush before brushing your teeth - and what happens when you don't.

Wetting your toothbrush before brushing your teeth

Woman brushing teethWetting your toothbrush can do more than just make brushing your teeth more comfortable, it's healthier too. Credit: Ridofranz

Wetting your toothbrush before brushing your teeth is essential for several reasons. Firstly, wetting the bristles helps distribute toothpaste more effectively, ensuring better coverage across the tooth surfaces. This results in enhanced cleaning efficiency and a more thorough removal of plaque and debris. Secondly, wetting the toothbrush softens the bristles, making the brushing experience gentler on gums and tooth enamel, reducing the risk of irritation or damage.

"Wetting the toothbrush helps activate the toothbrush ingredients, making them more effective"

Additionally, the moisture helps activate the toothpaste ingredients, making them more effective in fighting bacteria and maintaining oral hygiene. By wetting your toothbrush, you can improve your overall brushing experience and promote better oral health outcomes, making it a simple yet valuable step in your daily dental care routine.

The benefits of brushing your teeth with a wet toothbrush

Family brushing teethBrushing your teeth with a wet toothbrush activates the toothpaste's active ingredients. Credit: Viktoriia Hnatiuk

There are many benefits to brushing your teeth with a wet toothbrush.

Wetting the toothbrush activates the toothpaste's active ingredients, such as fluoride, which helps to strengthen tooth enamel and protect against tooth decay. Activated toothpaste is more effective in fighting bacteria and removing plaque, ensuring a cleaner and healthier mouth.

Wetting the toothbrush also helps evenly distribute the toothpaste across the bristles. This ensures that the toothpaste covers a larger surface area on your teeth, maximising its cleaning potential and targeting hard-to-reach areas.

Wetting the bristles softens them, leading to a gentler brushing experience. Softer bristles reduce the risk of causing irritation to the gums and prevent aggressive brushing, which could lead to enamel wear and gum recession.

"Wetting your toothbrush also means the efficacy of cleaning your teeth is enhanced"

Wetting your toothbrush also means the efficacy of cleaning your teeth is enhanced. The moisture on the bristles can help create a foam when combined with toothpaste. This foam helps to loosen and lift debris, plaque, and food particles from the teeth, making it easier to remove them during brushing.

A wet toothbrush may feel more comfortable in the mouth, especially for individuals with sensitive teeth or gums. The moisture can provide a soothing effect and reduce potential discomfort during brushing.

Some toothpaste formulations can be abrasive, especially if applied directly without wetting the brush first. Wetting the toothbrush before applying toothpaste helps dilute its potential abrasiveness, protecting the tooth enamel from excessive wear.

Wetting the toothbrush can become part of a consistent pre-brushing ritual, helping individuals stick to their oral care routine more effectively.

What are the dangers of dry brushing your teeth?

Man brushing teethBrushing too hard can cause inflammation to your gums and damage to your teeth. Credit: dolgachov

Brushing your teeth with a dry toothbrush can have several negative effects on your oral health and overall dental care routine. Dry bristles can be more abrasive on your tooth enamel, leading to its gradual wear and tear. Over time, this may cause tooth sensitivity and increase the risk of dental cavities and decay.

Dry brushing can also be harsh on your gums, leading to irritation and inflammation, which could lead to gum recession. Wetting the toothbrush helps create a foamy lather with toothpaste, which enhances its cleaning capabilities.

"Brushing with a dry toothbrush may result in inadequate removal of plaque and food particles from your teeth and gums"

Brushing with a dry toothbrush may result in inadequate removal of plaque and food particles from your teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. Using a dry toothbrush may not effectively remove plaque, leading to an increased risk of gum disease and dental problems.

Furthermore, dry brushing can wear down the bristles of your toothbrush more quickly, reducing its lifespan and effectiveness in the long run. Incomplete plaque removal due to dry brushing can lead to bacteria build-up, causing bad breath or halitosis. Without the foamy toothpaste lather, dry brushing might not effectively remove surface stains on your teeth, leading to discoloration over time.

Banner credit: Toothbrush (Dima Berlin)

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