What is Mouthwash?
Finding the right mouthwash doesn’t always need to be complicated. Knowing why you are looking to use one is a good first step as everyone has different needs. Mouthwashes can specialize in a specific oral care need, such as preventing tooth decay, but some will combine a group of needs into one product, making a good all-rounder that’s suitable for most people. Our mouthwash concentrate is a good all around product.
Alcohol is a very common ingredient in mouthwash, it is often written on the label as ethanol. While it does kill disease and odour-causing bacteria, it has also been shown to have a negative effect on the soft tissue in the mouth, which can lead to oral cancer. Ethanol kills not just bad bacteria but good bacteria as well. Alcohol has also shown to be an irritant, causing burning sensations in the mouth.
Fluoride is scientifically proven to fight tooth decay and strengthen your enamel.
Chlorhexidine is sometimes found in mouthwashes and is an antiseptic, specifically used to reduce bacteria on the gums and fight gum disease.
Hydrogen Peroxide is another ingredient in some mouthwashes. It’s usually used by dentists to whiten teeth, although the legal limit in mouthwash is restricted to 0.1%, which means that it is unlikely to prove an effective teeth whitening solution.
The benefits of having certain mouthwashes that do a particular job is that it makes the whole process easier for you, highlighting exactly what its main purpose is and making sure you are using the correct mouthwash although there are mouthwashes that have many properties in one, such as killing bacteria, reducing plaque build-up and freshening breath.
Key Benefits of Mouthwash
There are many benefits to mouthwash, and why there is a need for it.
- One key benefit is that they contain fluoride which fights cavities, strengthening the protective barrier of your teeth - as long as it is used correctly, which we explain later in How to use mouthwash.
The antibacterial properties of mouthwash combat disease by preventing the build-up of plaque around the teeth and gums.
The swishing and swilling action loosens food particles which makes flossing and brushing easier.
Mouthwash can also improve and reduce bad breath by killing odour-causing bacteria, leaving you with a cleaner and fresher mouth.
When used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, mouthwash helps achieve a complete, in-depth clean.
How to use Mouthwash?
Bad breath, plaque and gum disease are all common reasons for needing mouthwash, but it’s important you know how to use it correctly or you could be doing more harm than good.
Using mouthwash after brushing will wash away the fluoride left over from your toothpaste. The fluoride in toothpaste protects your teeth from decay and strengthens your enamel. Therefore, you should be using mouthwash before or at least 30 minutes after brushing your teeth.
Although the overall concentrate of fluoride in mouthwash is lower than in toothpaste, it is still protecting your enamel and fighting of tooth decay.
Drinking water is good for you as it keeps you healthy and hydrated, but drinking straight after mouthwash isn’t recommended. It flushes the fluoride away and any chemicals that are on your teeth to protect them - you should wait 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything.
Some dentists recommend using mouthwash during the day as well as using it before brushing, for example to freshen your breath after eating lunch.
Is it Good to use Mouthwash Every Day?
Yes, it is good to use mouthwash every day. The recommendation is twice a day, after flossing but before brushing. Brushing should be twice a day for 2 minutes each time. You can also use the mouthwash to temporarily get rid of bad breath but it can only strengthen your enamel and fight gum disease when used correctly.
Is Mouthwash Good or Bad?
There is both good and bad parts to mouthwash.
Fights off bacteria causing cavities.
Prevents gum disease
It’s not a total cure for bad breath. You must combine brushing, flossing and mouthwash to get the full benefit.
Some mouthwashes contain alcohol that can become an irritant for some people, causing burning within the mouth. If you find this with the mouthwash you are using then you should consider changing to a non-alcohol mouthwash.
Do Dentists Recommend Mouthwash?
Dentists recommend that, combined with flossing and brushing, mouthwash is a helpful and essential addition to your daily oral care routine. Combined with interdental brushes, mouthwash can clean even the most hard to reach areas.
Mouthwash can temporarily stop bad breath, reduce plaque build-up and protect you from gum disease, but it won’t be as effective if brushing and interdental cleaning are not also combined into your routine. Mouthwash should not be a substitute for brushing twice a day, but if used correctly can be a very effective addition to your oral care routine.