Fluoride Toothpaste vs. Mouthwash

So there is a topic dealing with this from 10 years ago, but I don’t think I want to resurrect that. My question relates to fluoride toothpaste versus fluoride mouthwash for cavity prevention. Not really concerned about plaque or gingivitis or bad breath here. My dentists have always recommended using a non-alcoholic fluoride mouthwash after brushing with fluoride toothpaste (most toothpastes have fluoride, but not all mouthwashes do, so they generally don’t care too much about which toothpaste you use).

The mouthwash they recommend is Act, which has 0.05% fluoride. Ok fine, but my bog standard Aqua Fresh toothpaste has 0.25% fluoride. Is it really a good idea to be rinsing away the toothpaste residue with mouthwash that has 1/5 as much fluoride in it? Even Act recommends using it after brushing. Is this just [start conspiracy] Big Dental trying to fool you into buying extra products while sabotaging your oral health so you need more fillings, [end conspiracy] or is the thin liquid of a mouthwash a better vehicle for delivering fluoride where needed than a foamy abrasive toothpaste? Is there something else about it I’m missing?

I use Paradontax stannous fluoride 0.454% toothpaste and remember reading somewhere that it is recommended to not rinse after brushing. It was a change from the way I had been brushing for most of my life but no big deal. Rinsing with a lower concentration would seem to be counter-productive.

I’ve been battling periodontal disease. My periodontist told me to “spit but don’t rinse” after using the fluoride toothpaste.

About 0.3 parts per million fluoride is recommended to prevent decay. So your toothpaste is probably providing more than enough. You may also have that amount in your water supply and other things with water in it.
I would not be too worried about it. Brush and then any more is probably bonus, up to a reasonable / safe amount.

I’ve seen this more and more about how you’re not supposed to rinse your mouth out after brushing. I just can’t do that. When I brush my teeth, there are food particles dislodged. I don’t feel that just spitting the toothpaste out is going to remove those. I’ve been rinsing all of my life and have never had any dental issues - as an adult anyway.

I usually brush in the morning and evening, and use the rinse after lunch. I figure that gives me a “booster shot” when it is less convenient to brush.

I found a bubblegum-flavored fluoride rinse at my local dollar store. Called a children’s rinse but same strength as the brand-name rinse sold for adults. (Made in Canada if that matters to you.)

I have the same problem. It’s a weird visceral reaction where if I don’t rinse my mouth, I feel like I am going to immediately barf.

Now, they recommend that you brush for four minutes. My electric toothbrush has a timer and two minutes can sometimes seem like an eternity.

If you’re really worried about it, you could always do some flouride varnish. It’s 5% and you paint it on your teeth and leave it on for a while.

Amazon.com: Varnish 5% Sodium Fluoride Unit-Dose Package (2 x 5 Pcs) Bubblegum, Mint or Caramel - Made in USA (Bubblegum) : Industrial & Scientific

I’ve wondered about this as well but never bothered searching for information. Apparently there’s some concern from dentists:

We have come across many patients who use mouthwash straight after brushing their teeth. This is a problem because a lot of mouthwashes have a fluoride content of 450 ppm whereas toothpaste contains 1450 ppm.

Using mouthwash straight after brushing reduces the fluoride concentration around the teeth, subsequently reducing the overall benefit of using toothpaste.

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-019-0036-x