Brushing Your Teeth: Hot Water or Cold Water

In light of the revelations made during our recent discussion of whether 'tis nobler to wipe standing or sitting, between the legs or reaching around, I’ll ask another hygiene question: Do you use cold water or hot/warm water to brush your teeth?

While getting ready for bed recently I was brushing my pearly whites using cold water, as is my custom. Whem my SO asked what on Earth I was doing I told her that not only was I brought up using cold water, but it made hygienic sense to do so: cold water makes your gums shrink just a bit (other manly body parts shrink as well when exposed to cold water, but that’s another thread)and so more of your tooth’s surface is exposed to the brush. It sounded plausible at the time. She scoffed and said that she have never heard such drivel. Hot water is the way to go for any cleaning job in her book.

OK, then. Which is it?

While hot water might provide a marginal enhancement of the toothpaste’s detergent action, other impacts far outweigh its importance.

Imagine the waste of energy to heat the water for all Americans brushing their teeth. Compound that with the huge waste of water due to flushing the pipes of once heated water until the warm water begins to flow again (few American homes have flash-heated water in the bathroom), and you have an idea of the ill advised nature of such a practice. There is even the possible increase in time taken waiting to obtain the hot water that represents a significant cummulative loss of productivity or sleep.

There might minor issues with hot water reducing the viscosity of the toothpaste and thus reducing its ability to cling to the brush and any surfaces being cleaned, but these are relatively minor.

Even if there was a minor improvement in toothpaste performance, the time, water and energy conservation factors greatly overshadow the minute potential decrease in dentist bills for the population.

As a slight hijack to my own thread I’ll relate the time I got very, very toasted and brushed my teeth for a solid 15 minutes. IT FELT SO DAMN GOOD! Plus it did wonders for the incredible cotton mouth. I heartily recommend it next time you’re, well, toasted, and have 15 minutes to kill.

Cold water.

Leave it to Zenster to bring common sense and facts into an opinion thread! :rolleyes: :wink:

Cold water here.

Cold Water.

When I have used hot water, it just felt wrong.

Chiesu! Hot water is great for washing white clothes and dishes, but gah, is SO trying to burn herself**? Sorry, but even the idea of ‘shrinking your gums with cold water’ seems pretty far-fetched to me.

Simple procedure:

Run cool water to wet brush and fill rinse glass.
Turn off water.
Brush teeth.
Wipe off little globs of toothpaste and/or foam from chin, sink, and mirror. (Okay, I get a little enthusiastic while brushing; sue me.)

Don’t keep the water running. It’s not the temperature, but how little water you actually use. Don’t keep the water running.

And again, don’t keep the water running.
**(Then again, (former)Roommate and I would fight about the shower temperature - he claimed hot water was the only way to get clean (akin to your SO’s thinking). My point was, why shower if you are only going to sweat again while standing in the hot water?)
After previewing:
Zenster, couldn’t have said it better myself.

Hot water, since I’m in the shower while I brush my teeth. It’s the only way to do it. Try it, you’ll like it!

I soak my toothbrush (the softest I can find) in hot water before brushing to soften the bristles even further. The reason for this strange activity? I have receding gums and gum disease, and when I brush vigorously and/or with a hard toothbrush, I remove enamel from the parts of my teeth that are now exposed because of the gum disease. I have been to the dentist a couple times over this (I thought they were cavities; he explained to me about the brushing causing more problems). Also, as an added bonus, warm water doesn’t make my sensitive teeth sing like cold water does.

Warm water. In the morning, I’ll brush in the shower. It just feels good.

Having hot running water in the house is the hallmark of civilization, as far as I’m concerned. Cold water makes my teeth hurt.

Cold. What is the benifets of hot? It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Who the hell besides Coke drinkers like bad tastes in their mouth?
I am/shall/forever wil be a cold man…
Wait, that didn’t sound right.

Wow. I can’t believe I’m posting to this. I’ve always said it, but this confirms it: I have an opinion about everything.

Hot water on my brush, cold water in my cup.


Hot water. It doesn’t set my teeth on edge the way cold water does. It was wierd at first, but now it’s the way I have to have it. Along with the Tom’s of Maine peppermint flouride toothpaste. That tasted nasty at first…now all others taste like they are full of sugar.