Wet Or Dry Toothbrush?

Our take on the recent discussions on social media about how we should brush our teeth.

You may have recently seen a number of tweets about whether you should wet your toothbrush before adding the toothpaste, or put it on dry, before brushing. Surprisingly, this simple debate seems to have started a social media storm, so we thought that we would also put forward the thoughts of our Purley dental team on this particular subject.

Wet or dry?

The reality is that it makes little difference whether you use a wet or dry toothbrush, unless perhaps, you suffer from a dry mouth, in which case, wetting the toothbrush may help to apply it more evenly in the mouth. Providing that you brush your teeth well, and are able to supply sufficient saliva to moisten the mouth, either way will work … providing that you brush your teeth correctly.

The right way

You should always use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Most brands will do, but if you use a ‘natural’ toothpaste, do make sure to check the ingredients. Fluoride strengthens the enamel on the teeth and helps to prevent tooth decay.

You should brush your teeth using a gentle pressure, and in a circular motion. It is important that you do not press too hard as this can damage the enamel and can also cause gum recession. For this reason, it may be better to buy a good quality electric toothbrush which includes a pressure sensor. This will then cut out temporarily when you apply too much pressure.


Despite the initial debate being about whether water should be put on the brush before brushing, the key point surrounding water actually comes at the end of the teeth cleaning process.

Many of us of a certain age will have been told to ‘spit and rinse’ when we have finished cleaning our teeth. Rinsing the mouth with cold water at the end can certainly make our mouths feel fresher, however, this is not very good advice. In fact, the dentists at the Confidental Clinic recommend that our Purley patients do not rinse at all, or at least for some time. Doing so would wash away the valuable fluoride that strengthens our teeth.

Allowing sufficient time for the fluoride to take effect on the enamel, before rinsing your mouth, is a very simple, but useful way of helping to keep your teeth strong and healthy. It may feel natural to rinse, but we would try to resist the temptation to do so, for the sake of your teeth. Of course, brushing at home is just one part of the solution for having a healthy mouth. Seeing the dentist and hygienist at the Confidental Clinic on a regular and ongoing basis is essential too.

For further advice on looking after your teeth and gums, or to book an appointment at our Purley practice, please call us on 020 8660 8923.