Adding the use of a mouthwash to your normal brushing routine can be a great way to increase your oral health. However, it’s important to use it properly to reap the full benefits.
How to Use Mouthwash
Dentists such as Jonathan Alexander Abt often advise patients to use a fluoride mouthwash as well as regularly brushing their teeth to provide extra protection against cavities.
To use mouthwash correctly, first ensure you are dispensing the right amount: check the label or follow your dentist’s recommendation. Next, swish the mouthwash around your mouth vigorously for the amount of time directed on the label. Finally, spit the mouthwash out. Care should be taken to prevent swallowing mouthwash, as it can be harmful if significant quantities are ingested. If possible, wait at least 30 minutes before eating or drinking after using mouthwash.
Benefits of Using a Mouthwash
The key benefits of using a mouthwash are:
- It helps to maintain fresh breath. Mouthwash kills the bacteria that causes bad breath and provides a temporary relief from the symptoms of halitosis.
- It prevents the build up of plaque. Although mouthwash can’t remove any plaque that has already formed, it can prevent further plaque from developing on the surface of the teeth.
- It removes food debris and particles. Consider using mouthwash before brushing rather than afterwards to rinse out any loose particles.
- It reduces the risk of cavities. When used regularly, mouthwashes containing fluoride can prevent cavities developing and strengthen teeth enamel. Check the label carefully, as not all mouthwashes contain fluoride.
How to Choose the Right Mouthwash
When deciding which mouthwash to use, consider whether you would prefer one containing alcohol. If there are children in your household who will be using the mouthwash, it could be a good idea to opt for one that is alcohol-free.
Also, consider sensitivity – this is especially important if you have recently undergone a dental procedure. Look for natural mouthwashes, or ask your dentist for advice.
Finally, you might want a mouthwash that contains anti-plaque ingredients as well as being designed to freshen breath. Check the labels and consult with your dentist for more information about what anti-plaque ingredients to look out for.