Now that we have your attention, let’s get one thing straight – the most important thing is to brush your teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes each time. Mouthwash certainly isn’t a replacement for your daily oral care, however if will only benefit you and if looking for fresher breath and a quick clean during the day, then mouthwash is perfect.
But just like anything else (especially when it comes to your oral hygiene), you need to know how to use it and when to use it. Want to know more? Tag along!
HOW DO I USE IT?
- Short answer is – read the label and stick to instructions.
- Long(er) answer is – simply rinse (swish) the mouthwash around you mouth for 15-30 seconds, but again always check the label as some mouthwashes may vary.
Some mouthwashes may need diluting, and some may not. It’s important to use the mouthwash of your choice as per the instructions provided. Only this way will you get the full benefit. Most dentists seem to agree that if you’re not neglecting your oral health, mouthwash is an additional way to keep your mouth fresh throughout the day.
Another reason you may want to reach for a mouthwash is if you’re living in an area where the water isn’t heavily fluoridated. This is to ensure your teeth are getting enough fluoride, if this is a case a fluoride mouthwash can be a great solution. After all, you need it to maintain strong enamel and to protect your teeth from acids and decay.
Choosing a mouthwash shouldn’t be difficult, as usually they have very similar properties. If you have a problem with gums or a serious infection, it’s best to ask your dentist!
SO, REALLY, HOW DO I USE IT?
Use the recommended amount. Having too much of certain germ-killing ingredients might be harmful.
Swish, swish, swish… Swish vigorously for the recommended time on the label.
Don’t swallow! Spit the mouthwash after you’re done swishing. Swallowing might be dangerous if the mouthwash contains fluoride, especially for kids.
AND WHEN DO I USE IT?
We know that rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash might be tempting just after you have brushed.
Not so fast. If you’re using fluoride toothpaste, don’t use mouthwash for at least 30 minutes after brushing! Why? Mouthwash will rinse the fluoride out of your mouth. More reasons why you should let the fluoride to do the work can be found here.
Use your mouthwash prior to brushing to remove any food debris and plaque build up in your mouth, this will set you up for a good clean and also won’t rinse out any of the fluoride after brushing.
If you want to rinse out after brushing wait at least 30 minutes and you ready to go ahead with the mouthwash. You’re all set, but avoid eating, drinking or smoking for half an hour to let the mouthwash to its job. If you need some more advice, check out what NHS recommend.
Using mouthwash during the day after eating to rinse out any food debris is a great way to keep you breath fresh and prevent bacteria building up in your mouth.