Are Drinking Liquids

Are Drinking Liquids After Brushing Your Teeth Bad?

Team Oral Health

If you recall your parents telling you to always rinse your mouth with water right after brushing your teeth, you may wonder whether this was accurate information. When you talk to a pediatric dentist, you may discover that the advice you received in childhood needs an update.

Drinking or rinsing with water after brushing your teeth may prevent fluoride toothpaste from working at its best. Drinking sweet or acidic beverages directly after teeth brushing is not recommended because it can damage your child’s enamel.

Acidic beverages include orange juice, soda, coffee, and tea. Sweet beverages can also pose a problem. These beverages include sweetened milk products and juices.

Things to Avoid

Don’t rinse with water or drink any beverage directly after brushing your teeth. Rinsing toothpaste away also rinses fluoride off your teeth. Fluoride needs time to settle in and remineralize your enamel. Wait ten to fifteen minutes to allow the fluoride time to work before drinking or rinsing your mouth.

Avoid having sweet, acidic beverages like soda and orange juice directly after brushing your teeth. Over the day, your teeth build a thin film that can help protect them from sugars and acids. When you brush your teeth, you remove this film, giving sugar and acid direct access to your tooth enamel.

How to Brush Properly


According to the American Dental Association, every child whose first tooth has appeared needs to brush with fluoride toothpaste. Use a small amount the size of a grain of rice for infants under one year. Brush gently with a baby toothbrush, allowing your child to become accustomed to the routine.

Keep in mind that breastmilk and formula also have sugar, and do not give them to your child within 10 to 15 minutes of brushing their teeth.


Continue to brush your child’s teeth for them until they are about six years old. Allow children to practice toothbrushing techniques on themselves and help them role-play with dolls and toys. As the child’s teeth begin to meet in the back, you will also need to start flossing their teeth.


Continue to supervise tooth brushing and flossing until your child can safely handle it independently. Teach them the proper times to rinse and when to avoid drinking water or other beverages.

Encouraging Healthy Beverages

Minimizing a child’s juice and sweetened milk intake is best for their oral and overall health. However, you do not have to avoid these beverages completely as long as you brush and rinse properly.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Dental Care

When should my child have their first dental appointment?

Ideally, pediatric dentists like to see children by their first birthday. We see most children between 18 to 24 months. Early appointments allow them to track the child’s oral health and spot potential issues. They also help the child become accustomed to the dentist’s office and build trusting relationships.

How long should my child brush their teeth?

People of all ages should brush their teeth for two full minutes. A cursory brushing of thirty seconds will not remove all plaque and food particles. Ensure your child flosses when their teeth have come in enough to do so.

Call Pediatric Dental Associates of Clinton

If you have any questions about proper tooth brushing and rinsing techniques for your child, call our Annandale, NJ, office at 908-735-6300. We can help you break down tooth brushing myths and give your children accurate information for a lifetime.