Is Hot Water Better to Use When Brushing Your Teeth?

Most people use cold tap water to brush their teeth but would changing the temperature to warm, or hot alter the outcome healthwise? After all, hot water can kill germs but does that apply to your mouth as well? Will brushing teeth with hot water make a difference?

Brushing Teeth With Cold Water

Many people find the cold water to be refreshing, but there are no added health benefits for this method of brushing.

  • If teeth are sensitive, brushing teeth with cold water can lead to irritation or pain.
  • If cold water causes irritation or pain, it may prevent proper brushing.

Brushing Teeth With Warm/Hot Water

Warm water is known to help loosen dirt and help clean areas better, but this does not apply to your teeth cleaning. To do this effectively you would need to use not only hot water to brush your teeth, but boiling water and that would cause severe damage to your mouth.

How Important is Water Temperature When Brushing Teeth?

Since the main components to clean the teeth are in the toothpaste itself, the water temperature does not affect the health of the teeth. What is important is using toothpaste that has fluoride.

  • Fluoride remineralizes the teeth.
  • Fluoride removes plaque and bacteria.
  • Our mouths contain over 800 different types of bacteria that live among our teeth.
  • These bacteria attach as a film to the teeth, but when brushed will cause some of the bacteria film to scrape away.
  • The actual brushing process and fluoride combined is what makes the difference in the health of your teeth.

Using cold or hot water to brush your teeth will not affect how well the fluoride does its job. However, using too much water, whether it is hot or cold can counteract the effectiveness of the fluoride.

  • Using large amounts of water can be counterproductive because the fluoride becomes diluted and will wash away.
  • For best results, fluoride must remain on the teeth, so bacteria does not turn into damaging acids.

When you brush your teeth, the water temperature is meaningless unless your teeth are sensitive. With sensitive teeth, you would not use cold water, but you would not use hot water to brush your teeth either. The best temperature would be lukewarm, but that is only for comfort reasons. The overall temperature of the water, whether it is cold, warm or hot will have no added benefit to the health of your teeth.

The most important thing when brushing your teeth is the technique you use. For more information on the proper technique, contact us at one of our many locations. At Children’s Dentistry, we can assist in a wide variety of teeth-related issues for children.

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