Mouthwash 101: When, Why, and How to Use It

Mouthwash is an extremely important part of cleaning your mouth for proper oral hygiene. It has many benefits for both your teeth and gum health. To get the maximum benefits when using mouthwash, it’s important to think about when to use mouthwash, what it does, and how to use it.

What Does Mouthwash Do?

mouthwashThe function of mouthwash is similar to the function of toothpaste. Just like you use toothpaste to clean your mouth each morning and night, mouthwash also plays an important role in protecting your teeth and gum health. In fact, mouthwash and toothpaste even have some similar ingredients that help to protect your oral health.

Mouthwash has become a popular part of people’s dental hygiene routine because it has many benefits. First, mouthwash helps to kill bacteria in your mouth that can be harmful to your teeth and gums. This bacteria may be caused by past meals or saliva. By killing this bacteria, mouthwash helps to prevent cavities, tooth staining, and gum disease.

Second, mouthwash helps to protect the teeth and gums, even after you brush. One of the primary benefits of mouthwash is that its effects can continue working long after you leave the sink. Some mouthwash brands even add a product called fluoride which can help to protect the enamel of your teeth.

Finally, some people wonder what mouthwash does beyond its long-term oral health benefits. Mouthwash helps to freshen your breath and leave your smile looking clean and bright. Most mouthwashes are flavored similarly to toothpaste in a mint or spearmint flavor. This gives your breath a fresh scent even hours after you brush. Plus, the active ingredients in the mouthwash help preserve the whiteness of your teeth and prevent staining.

How to Use Mouthwash

Mouthwash is very easy to use. Before you use it, however, it’s important for your health and safety to understand the proper way to use it. If swallowed, mouthwash can be harmful to your body, especially if it is ingested in large quantities. As a result, it’s important to follow all of the instructions on the product’s label to ensure proper mouthwash use.

After brushing your teeth, first determine the amount of mouthwash needed. For adults and children, this will be different. Each bottle of mouthwash typically has instructions that detail the proper amount. Once you’ve determined the proper amount, distribute the proper amount into the appropriate area. Some mouthwashes may have a removable cap where you can pour the liquid. Others may have a cup built into the top with a one-way straw where you can squeeze the liquid to fill. Either way, both types tend to have a fill line to be sure you don’t use too much or too little.

Second, it’s important to think about how you use mouthwash within your mouth. Pour the proper amount into your mouth and begin to “swish” it around. This means moving the liquid all around your teeth, tongue, and cheeks. You can even move the liquid in between your teeth for an extra deep clean. You should also gargle the mouthwash in the back of your throat to target hidden bacteria. Be sure not to swallow the mouthwash during this step!

Finally, spit and rinse. Spit all of the mouthwash out into the sink. Some mouthwashes allow you to rinse with water afterward. Others, especially those that contain fluoride, do not recommend rinsing with water. Those who want to learn more about how to use mouthwash can find more information and demonstrations on Youtube.

When to Use Mouthwash

Knowing when to use mouthwash may be different for every person. As a general rule, it’s better to use mouthwash after you brush and floss. This way the mouthwash works as a final protectant. However, you should wait a while to use mouthwash, say half an hour or so, after you brush your teeth.

Most people use mouthwash only once per day. However, there’s nothing wrong with using mouthwash twice per day to make your mouth and teeth extra clean. Some dentists may even recommend it if your teeth are extra prone to cavities or you have a history of gum disease.

Many people wonder about the best time of day to use mouthwash. Again, you should use mouthwash after you brush your teeth. However, whether you use it in the morning or night may be up to you. Some people prefer to use it in the morning so that they have fresh breath for the day. Others feel that they have more protection at night while they are sleeping since they won’t be eating for several hours. Whatever you choose, it’s important that you should not eat anything for several minutes after you use your mouthwash.

If you have questions about proper mouthwash usage or are in need of a checkup, give us a call to schedule an exam with Derksen Dentistry today.

Leave a Reply

Learn more about our Covid-19 policy here.Learn More >