How Often Should You Use Mouthwash?

How Often Should You Use Mouthwash?

How Often Should You Use Mouthwash?

Swish, gargle, spit…mouthwash never fails to deliver that clean and fresh feeling. Besides fighting bad breath, do you ever wonder what else mouthwash accomplishes for your oral health? And if it’s substantial, then should you start rinsing with mouthwash on a more regular basis? Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out.

The History of Mouthwash

Using mouthwash is not a new trend. According to the book, “The History of Oral Hygiene Products: How Far have We Come in 6000 years,” mouth rinsing dates back to the Greek and Roman periods when it became common among the upper classes. Hippocrates even recommended a mixture of salt, alum, and vinegar. Fast forward several thousand years, and the mouthwash industry has grown to include over a hundred different types with varying benefits.

Types of Mouthwash

The American Dental Association says there are two main types of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic. They say, “Cosmetic mouthwash may temporarily control bad breath and leave behind a pleasant taste but have no chemical or biological application beyond their temporary benefit. For example, if a product doesn’t kill bacteria associated with bad breath, then its benefit is considered to be solely cosmetic. Therapeutic mouthwash, by contrast, has active ingredients intended to help control or reduce conditions like bad breath, gingivitis, plaque, and tooth decay.”

The Benefits of Using Mouthwash

It is generally agreed within the dental community that the use of mouthwash does not take away the need for brushing and flossing. The ADA even says that regular brushing and flossing (in combination with regular checkups) are enough in most cases.

“Mouthwash may be a helpful addition to the daily oral hygiene routine for some people.  Like interdental cleaners, mouthwash offers the benefit of reaching areas not easily accessed by a toothbrush.  The question of whether to rinse before or after brushing may depend on personal preference; however, to maximize benefit from the oral care products used, manufacturers may recommend a specific order for their use, depending on ingredients,” they say.

So, check out the label on your mouthwash because each product has its own unique instructions.

What Type of Mouthwash to Buy?

Because there are so many products on the market, look for the ADA Seal of Approval when buying mouthwash. This means that scientific evidence was presented, as well as safety and effectiveness reviewed. Furthermore, consult with your dentist about the right type of mouthwash for you.  So, here’s to fresh breath and potentially plaque-prevention benefits – happy swishing and gargling!