Eli5 If warm water is generally better for cleaning things, including our skin, then why do we use cold water to brush our teeth?

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Eli5 If warm water is generally better for cleaning things, including our skin, then why do we use cold water to brush our teeth?

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Because hot water from the faucet is not as safe to drink because of the lead used in water heaters historically.

It isn’t generally advised to ingest the water from hot taps because they have a greater chance of containing harmful contaminants like lead and nickel (depending on plumbing, of course). Unlike the cold water supply, hot water spends time sat in boilers or hot water tanks within the home, which also increases contamination risk.

You could of course boil a kettle and mix it with cold water to clean your teeth, but that is less convenient. In any case, toothpastes are designed to be used with cold water, and the cleaning difference is probably minimal anyway.

Because the cleaning comes from the scrubbing with the brush, not the solvent properties of the water, and it is more comfortable to brush your teeth with cold water. It’s “refreshing”, and this isn’t entirely a sensation thing. Washing things in hot water does make them easier to clean, but warm water also is more ‘pleasant’ for bacteria and other microbes. So it is better to rinse things in cold water than hot water, and will reduce the smell.

If you want to prevent your dishrags from getting smelly very quickly, you should always rinse them in cold water and wring them out thoroughly every time you use them, by the way. It makes a huge difference.

People seem to be missing the fact that cold water constricts the gums, encouraging the expulsion of the buildup, but yeah, alternating cold and warm would probably be ideal.

Really scrubbing things perfectly clean is kinda useless on the septic trash system that is your mouth. Best you can do is get rid of the funk on your teeth, an especially tongue, and then get on with your day.

You should only be rinsing w water. Notice how when you go the dentist for a cleaning, it goes toothpaste –> sterile dentist recommended toothbrush –> your teeth