The Total Guide to Mouthwash Benefits, How to Use It and Mitigate Risks
Mouthwash is an excellent way to benefit your oral hygiene routine because it can help you to kill harmful bacteria and even treat foul breath. Nonetheless, many misconceptions circle around mouthwash, and therefore, we decided to create this guide about the benefits and correct use.
Without anything else to add, let us show you everything about mouthwashes. An exclusive guide by The Smile Bar!
What Makes Mouthwash Special?
The magic in mouthwash resides in combining an antiseptic with the following ingredients:
- Cetylpyridinium Chloride
- Chlorine Dioxide
- Essential Oils (e.g. menthol, methyl salicylate and eucalyptol)
At The Smile Bar, we recommend you to avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol, since they tend to dry out the mouth, and hence, cause halitosis.
Once you use the mouthwash by swishing it around your mouth, the ingredients release their effects killing the harmful bacteria and leaving your mouth clean and fresh.
However, even though the effects of using a mouthwash may seem incredible, it is not a replacement for proper tooth brushing and flossing. It is a complement as we said at the beginning, and should remain so.
What Are The Benefits of Mouthwash?
To put the science in simple words, let us example the benefits that the ingredients we have mentioned will bring to your life:
- It kills harmful bacteria that habits on your tongue and between your teeth, which normal brushing or flossing may not eliminate by complete
- It removes dental debris and plaque, hence preventing biofilm accumulation
- It improves foul breath
- It prevents gingivitis
As you can see, it is an excellent ally for a fresh breath and a healthy mouth. However, we like to back up our claims. Here you have proof that mouthwashes are effective:
- Mouthrinses containing active ingredients such as essential oils combined with chlorhexidine can prevent gingivitis and control plaque: Study
- A group of girls from Tehran high schools that used peppermint (essential oil) mouthwash demonstrated that it can reduce halitosis: Study
As you can see, science and real-life cases back up the effectiveness of mouthwash. Now, let us get down to the application, by showing you how to use it.
How to Use Mouthwash Effectively and Safely?
Now that you are aware of the great benefits and science-backed power of mouthwash, here you have how to use it effectively. To make it didactic and easy to understand, we have formatted this section in the form of questions and answers.
“How Does Mouthwash Work?”
Before we get into the method, let us explain you in simple terms how it works. Thanks to their content of active ingredients, antiseptics and essential oils, mouthwash are capable of killing bacteria and vanishing away plaque, biofilm accumulation and debris.
Furthermore, some mouthwashes have teeth whitening effects, but they are limited to slight improvement. If you want to whiten your teeth for real, then you need a professional treatment like ours.
“Should I Brush My Teeth First?”
Yes, you must brush your teeth first prior to using a mouthwash. As most toothpastes contain fluoride, you should a complete of minutes before using your mouthwash, because it can wash away the fluoride. However, it is not true for our special fluoride mouthwash, the Mouthrinse EVO.
You can use it prior to brushing with no risk at all and while enjoying all the great benefits of mouthwash plus teeth whitening.
“How Much Mouthwash Should I Use?
It depends on the official instructions of the mouthwash you are going to use. However, it could be as little as 3 teaspoons or as much as 5-6 teaspoons. It depends on the concentration of the mouthwash and the active ingredients.
“How Should I Use The Mouthwash?
The application is easy, as you only have to do the following:
- Empty the full cup of mouthwash in your mouth
- Swishing it around for 30-60 seconds
- Spit it out
As you can see, it only takes a couple of minutes at max, a minimal investment for all the benefits you get in exchange.
“When Should I Use Mouthwash?”
As we said, you must brush and floss your teeth prior to using mouthwash. Therefore, you can use it after every meal or if you need to vanish foul breath instantly.
Therefore, you should once it at least once a day, to enjoy the benefits of mouthwash. Of course, you should use it regularly; therefore, make it an integral part of your oral hygiene routine.
“Is Mouthwash Safe?”
Yes, as long as it does not contain alcohol, which can dry up the mouth and promote halitosis. However, it has some risks that you must be aware of, which we will cover in the next section.
Because every great power comes with a responsibility, it is our duty to inform you of the possible risks of using mouthwash. However, if you follow the steps we brought you in the previous section, you will keep the risks to a minimum.
Children Are At Risk
As we said, we do not recommend mouthwashes that contain alcohol; however, they still contain high doses of fluoride, which is problematic when a person ingests it, especially when we talk about children.
Therefore, children should not use mouthwash until they are older than 7 years old, and even then, they should only use it under supervision.
About Oral Lesions
Even though mouthwash can help to heal oral lesions, if they are recurrent, it could do the opposite, because it would be masking the underlying causes of the lesions.
Therefore, never use mouthwash as the treatment for your oral lesions, because you will end up hurting yourself. Always consult with a dentist, to discover the real causes of the lesions and sores in your mouth.
Now you know everything about mouthwash from the definition to the benefits and the steps to use it. As you can see, it is the perfect complement for your oral hygiene routine, since it will help you to kill harmful bacteria, remove plaque and debris and make your breath fresh.
If you have more questions, let us know in the comments so we can help you!