Mouthwash is for more than bad breath. In fact, mouthwash and other fluoride rinses help clean those impossible to reach places in your mouth. According to Listerine, one of the leading supplies of mouthwash, brushing only cleans 25 percent of your mouth. That means that if you don’t use mouthwash, you’re missing nearly 75% of your teeth, gums and mouth. Below, we’ll talk about the dos and don’ts of mouthwash including what ingredients to look for and how to use it properly.
Why Use Mouthwash?
Mouthwash helps remove plaque and other debris from the crevices of your mouth, neutralizes bad breath, and helps prevent gingivitis. However, rinsing with mouthwash is not a suitable alternative to brushing. The bristles of a toothbrush work your teeth and gums in ways that mouthwash cannot.
Developing Your Mouthwash Routine
You can use mouthwash either before or after you’ve finished brushing and flossing. It’s best to use mouthwash twice daily. To use mouthwash properly, start by pouring about 20 millimeters or 4 teaspoons into a cup. Pour the cup into your mouth and swish it around for about 30 seconds. Be careful not to swallow. It’s probably going to sting at first, but don’t worry. It gets less painful every time. If you can’t get to 30 seconds, try to work your way up over time. Be sure to gargle with the mouthwash to reach the germs at the back of your mouth.
Choosing the Right Mouthwash
There are many different varieties of mouthwash. Most are comprised of a combination of water, alcohol, cleansing agents, and flavoring/coloring ingredients. Active ingredients include antimicrobial agents that reduce plaque and fight off gingivitis, fluoride that reduces and prevents tooth decay, astringent salts that reduce bad breath, and odor neutralizers.
Try to find a mouthwash with the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval. The ADA only approves mouthwashes that are scientifically proven to be safe and effective at overcoming various diseases of the mouth. Check out the ADA’s list of approved mouthwashes here.
When To Start Using Mouthwash
Many people start using mouthwash to ward off severe bad breath. Your dentist can also recommend using mouthwash to help treat a serious case of gingivitis, gum disease, the spread of plaque and tartar, or for those that are overcoming a fungal infection in the mouth. Simply put, mouthwash can help strengthen your normal oral hygiene routine. Always use in combination with regular brushing and flossing.
Mouthwash is only recommended for children over six. Younger children are at risk of swallowing mouthwash, which can lead to all sorts of negative effects. Talk to your dentist if you want your child to start using mouthwash. Always check the label on the bottle for any age restrictions and proper use techniques.
Be aware of how mouthwash can help you overcome various oral health issues such as cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. Imagine going to bed every night knowing that you’ve done everything that you can to have a happy, healthy mouth.