Posted .

If you are already brushing and flossing twice a day, do you need to enlist the help of mouthwash in your fight against dental caries, gingivitis, and bad breath? While it is not necessary to incorporate mouthwash into your daily oral hygiene routine, it can definitely be an asset, particularly if you have a health issue you would like to address. Depending on your oral health needs, you can choose the right oral rinse for you.

Over the Counter Mouthwashes for Your Needs

 Fluoride mouthwashes prevent cavities while protecting and strengthening tooth enamel.
 Cosmetic rinses help your breath smell fresh and make your teeth feel clean.
 Antibacterial mouthwashes wipeout the bacteria that actually causes bad breath.
 Antiseptic rinses kill bacteria along with viruses, and fungi. However, because they also contain alcohol they can also dry out the mouth.

Deciding when to use a mouthwash rinse is not important so you can use it before or after you brush and floss. The American Dental Association (ADA) determined that either method works fine so it is just a matter of personal preference. What is important however is timing–using mouthwash correctly hinges on leaving it in the mouth long enough for it to work. It is recommended that you keep it in 30 to 60 seconds. Also, make sure your mouthwash has the ADA Seal of Approval on the label. For you the consumer this ensures that it is safe to use and effective, and all claims have been substantiated.

How to Rinse

No. 1. Begin by reading and following all manufacture directions to reap the product’s benefits, don’t skip this step! Often people fail to achieve the benefits because they are using the product incorrectly. Some products recommend diluting, others do not. The directions will clarify for you.

No. 2. Pour the recommended amount into your mouth using the cup that comes with your mouthwash, or use a small cup you have for this purpose.

No. 3. Close your mouth to create a seal to prevent any mouthwash from spilling out when you swish it around vigorously.

No. 4. Swish the mouthwash back and forth for about about 30-60 seconds. Take the time to swish the front and the back of your teeth, including the molars, under the tongue, and the roof of the mouth.

No. 5. You will need to gargle the solution to kill those germs lingering in the back of the mouth. You can gargle with the solution still in the mouth, or rinse and take in a fresh amount for another 30-60 seconds. Place the solution into your mouth and take a deep breath. Tilt your head back as far as it will go and open your mouth. Slowly say “ahhhh” and when you run out of air, tilt your head back to its normal position and take another breath. Repeat, then spit.

If you choose not to rinse the mouthwash afterwards with water, it is best not to drink anything for at least ten minutes. If you are using a hydrogen peroxide or mouthwash that has a high alcohol content, do rinse after using, as these can irritate and dry out your mouth.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our Dearborn West Dental team at 313-562-5610 today!