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All you need to know about using a mouthwash

22 July 2022by Shiv

Mouthwash or liquid mouth rinse is a great way to help you clean your teeth. It cannot replace brushing and flossing but can augment the process of teeth cleaning when combined with them.

There are plenty of mouthwashes available, and recognizing the most appropriate for you is also an essential part of dental hygiene. They have different formulations and not every mouthwash is to make your teeth strong.

Some of them are simple antibacterial solutions, others contain fluoride to strengthen your teeth.

This article will help you to know about the importance as well as the correct usage of mouthwash.


How many types of mouthwash are there?

A mouthwash can be of therapeutic or cosmetic use.

Therapeutic mouthwashes are antiseptic solutions and help combat the bacterial plaque buildup in your mouth. If used correctly, they help in fighting bad breath and keep tooth decay at a bay.

Cosmetic mouthwashes that contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide help in teeth whitening and brightening. However, if you need quick results, fluoride rinses will not be of much use. They will whiten your teeth only gradually and minimally.


How should you use mouthwash?

Although each product has different specifications and different methods to use. These can be found on the pack itself. But, some general things should always be kept in mind.

  1. Brush your teeth: Brushing is the first step in any oral hygiene regimen you follow. It helps to thoroughly clean all the visible debris from your mouth. Use a good dentist recommend toothbrush and toothpaste for the best results. Make sure to check if your toothpaste contains fluoride, which most kinds of toothpaste have, as you will have to wait for a while before using mouthwash.
  2. Floss in between the teeth: Flossing removes the food particles or debris that is stuck in between the spaces of your teeth. The teeth are very intricately designed, and this makes a suitable place for the food to get stuck and bacteria to colonize. 
  3. Mouthwash: After completing the above steps, flush your mouth thoroughly with the mouth rinse. It is antiseptic and will kill the bacteria present in any corner of the mouth. As it is a liquid, it has better reach in every part of your oral cavity. Do not swallow it, it is meant only for topical action. Drinking it will not do any good. The average time to swish it in your mouth is 30 seconds. After that spit it out. Do not flush your mouth with water after this las it will interrupt the action of the mouthwash. A mouthwash can also be used after every meal to flush your mouth, unlike brushing and flossing which are recommended a maximum of 2 times per day. It is also easy to use and less time-consuming.


Follow these three simple steps and you will be able to notice a visible improvement in your oral health and overall well-being within a short duration. 


How much mouthwash should you use?

As already stated that each product has a different formulation and set of instructions for usage. However, the amount of use varies between 2-3 tablespoons for all of them. Pour the desired amount into the cup provided along with the product. You can also use a plastic measuring cup to ensure that you use the exact amount mentioned in the instructions.


What is the action of mouthwash on teeth?

Mouthwash is an antiseptic solution and contains ingredients such as methanol and eucalyptus which are well known to act as antibacterials. They reach the inaccessible places in your mouth and remove any bacterial buildup occurring there. In this way, they help in preventing some of the common dental problems such as gingivitis, oral ulcers, periodontal disease, tooth decay, plaque and tartar, and bad breath.

Some mouthwashes also contain fluoride which helps in making the enamel of your teeth strong and healthy. Fluoride-containing mouthwashes have helped cut down the number of teeth decays significantly. They may sometimes sting when you taste them because of the methanol present in them. 


What are the advantages of using mouthwash?

  • Facilitates good oral health and hygiene
  • Helps fighting bad breath
  • Prevents tooth decay
  • Kills bacteria from inaccessible parts of the mouth
  • Useful for postoperative oral hygiene
  • Heal mouth sores, ulcers, gingivitis


What precautions should you take while using mouthwash?

  • Do not ingest: The ingredients present in mouthwash, such as methanol and fluoride, are good for cleaning and strengthening your teeth, but if ingested in excess, these can be harmful to your health.
  • Not for kids below 6 years of age: A mouthwash is to be used with precautions and should not be swallowed. Kids may not be able to follow these precautions properly and hence, should not be given access to using mouthwash below 6 years.
  • Ask your dentist: If you have several open lesions or ulcers in your mouth which occur frequently, consult your dentist before using the mouthwash. These may be due to some serious underlying disease that needs to be treated.
  • Use only the specified amount: Because of the methanol present in it, mouthwash is used in excess, can damage the delicate mucous membrane of the oral cavity 


When it comes to choosing the best mouthwash, the varieties can be bewildering. You might need an expert’s assistance to help you determine the best choice. At Conway House, our High Wycombe dentist are available to solve all your queries and cater to all your dental needs. If you are looking for a dentist in High Wycombe to guide you with the best oral hygiene tips, book an appointment with us today!

We are a friendly team of dentists, hygienists and receptionists who work together to ensure that you receive the best treatment you require.

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