Mouthwash, also known as oral or mouth rinse, is a dental product which is used to clean your teeth, gums and mouth. Often, mouthwash contains an antiseptic solution which then kills bacteria that can live between your teeth or on your tongue. Some people use mouthwash to try and get rid of bad breath, whilst others use it in order to try and prevent dental issues, such as tooth decay.
Whilst mouthwash is a popular addition to dental health routines, it doesn’t replace practices such as flossing or brushing your teeth and it is only effective when used correctly. It’s also important to remember that different mouthwash products and brands contain different ingredients and not all mouthwash products have benefits for your oral health. With this in mind, here are some things you need to know about mouthwash and whether or not you should continue to use it as part of your daily dental care routine.
Brush Your Teeth First
Before using mouthwash, start by thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth – mouthwash should be used as an after step. If you brush with fluoride toothpaste, then you should wait a little while before you use mouthwash, as the mouthwash could wash away the fluoride included in the toothpaste, which counter-balances the positives of both products.
Know How Much Mouthwash To Use
When it comes to using mouthwash, it’s important to know how much to use. Most mouthwash products come with a plastic measuring cup, so use this as the recommended amount. It’s important that you read the label, too, as depending on the brand of mouthwash you choose you may need to dilute the product before use with water. If the label doesn’t tell you to dilute, then you might not get the full benefit as products which do need diluting.
Ready, Set, Rinse
One of the main things when it comes to using mouthwash correctly is to rinse for the right amount of time in order to get the benefits. Use the pre-measured amount of mouthwash and empty into your mouth, and swish it around. Rinse for around 30 seconds and then gargle for 30 seconds.
When To Use Mouthwash
Some people use mouthwash as part of their daily routine, some also just use it now and then to banish bad breath or to make their mouth feel extra fresh. There are no set guidelines for using mouthwash the same way there is for brushing your teeth, but it doesn’t help to prevent dental disease or strengthen tooth enamel unless you use it straight after flossing and brushing. For the best results, use mouthwash after brushing and flossing, as this will help to further protect your teeth and freshen your breath.
Mouthwash isn’t a replacement for brushing and flossing or maintaining a good dental hygiene routine. Mouthwash can be used to prevent bad breath and to rinse your mouth after brushing to protect against plaque and gum disease. If you have recurring dental problems or bad breath, then mouthwash can’t cure any underlying dental issues and this is instead a job for a private dentist or hygienist.