The most known essential part of oral hygiene is brushing and flossing daily with fluoride toothpaste – but there is another secret weapon that hygienists always keep up their sleeves; it’s called a mouth rinse!
Depending on preference, a mouth rinse can be an everyday thing or only when necessary (such as before an important meeting or date). While not a substitute for flossing and brushing, this extra step to keep your breath fresh can be quite helpful.
Here are some of the information you may want to know about mouth rinse:
1. What is mouth rinse, and how does it work?
A mouth rinse is a solution that you swish around your mouth for anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes. Anywhere from 500 to 1,000 ml (or half a liter) is recommended. The solution is usually made up of water, alcohol (for its antibacterial properties), and essential oils or natural extracts to mask the taste if necessary.
It works by killing the bacteria that cause bad breath. Mouth rinses are most effective when used after brushing and flossing because there is still plaque left on the teeth even if you brushed well. The mouth rinse will remove it quickly and efficiently to eliminate any food particles or other debris that may be causing odor-causing bacteria to form.
Use a mouth rinse before or after brushing. Some people may prefer to use it before brushing because the alcohol in the solution will help dislodge plaque from between your teeth. If you use mouth rinse after, there is a chance that some of the chemicals could neutralize the effect of fluoride in your toothpaste.
Rinse with the solution for 30 to 60 seconds, making sure to swish it around in your mouth. Spit out any excess after rinsing. Do not swallow! Alcohol is an ingredient in most mouth rinses, so if you are concerned about this, use a rinse without alcohol or make your own using baking soda instead of alcohol.
Some people choose to use a mouth rinse after meals or before going out for special occasions. So, you could either use the rinse while in the bathroom while brushing your teeth, or you could take a bottle of mouth rinse with you to use throughout the day.
Mouth rinses come in many different flavors and colors. The most common type is plain and unflavored and is an alcohol-based solution available at any supermarket or drugstore.
You can also find mouth rinses containing fluoride, which acts to desensitize hypersensitive teeth.
If you prefer a more natural way to whiten your teeth, you may look for mouth rinses that contain blueberry or green tea extracts.
There are even specialty rinses for people who wear braces; these can help reduce plaque build-up and keep their breath fresh.
Many doctors and dentists recommend using a mouth rinse two to three times a day. In most cases, they may be included in daily pill packs or prescribed for nightly use.
People who tend to get dry mouth can use rinses throughout the day for extra protection. It is especially helpful if you are having trouble with bad breath.
Mouth rinses can help remove food particles and plaque, so it’s recommended to use them every day or two days at the very least.
Here are the most common benefits of a mouth rinse to your oral health:
- Removes food particles and plaque that can cause cavities.
- Stimulates saliva production.
- Prevents gum disease and heals any sores in the mouth.
- Kills bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Fluoride rinses can help prevent tooth decay and strengthen enamel, making your teeth more resilient to acid damage from things like soda or fruit juice.
- Natural ingredients in some mouthwashes can help whiten teeth, freshen breath, and reduce the formation of tartar.
Using mouth rinses can clean your teeth and gums, reduce plaque build-up, make you less likely to get cavities, and stimulate saliva production in the mouth.
Saliva is naturally antibacterial, which helps prevent gum disease by washing away bacteria before it can damage. This means that people who suffer from dry mouth may use mouth rinses more often than people who produce normal saliva.
In addition, antibacterial ingredients in the rinses can kill some bacteria before it begins causing bad breath, and killing bacteria in your mouth will help with any open sores or infections in your gums or throat.
Many mouth rinses contain alcohol or other chemicals that may be harmful if swallowed in large amounts. Many people worry about accidentally swallowing their mouthwash, but it is extremely unlikely.
Some people might experience mild irritation of the mouth or gums if they accidentally swallow their mouthwash. If you are worried about this, try to use a non-alcoholic rinse or make your own with baking soda and water instead of alcohol.
You also might experience an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in the rinses. If you are experiencing swelling or itching in the mouth, discontinue use immediately.
Some ingredients may also cause teeth staining, so be careful when using any mouthwash if you have braces or other dental work that could be easily stained.
If you experience irritation to your gums after using a mouth rinse, stop using the rinse. If irritation persists, visit your dentist for further treatment.
7. Is mouth rinse good for my oral health?
Yes. Mouth rinse is a great way to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. If you use a mouth rinse with natural ingredients, it may even help whiten your teeth and reduce the amount of tartar formation.
Mouth rinses can be beneficial in conjunction with brushing, flossing, and dental exams, and many mouth rinses are available without a prescription.
To maximize the benefits of mouth rinse and minimize any side effects, read the ingredients before buying a mouthwash. Look for an alcohol-free rinse that contains fluoride if you are looking to strengthen enamel or reduce cavities.
Make sure to follow instructions carefully when using them to get the best results, and always check with your dentist about using mouth rinses.
If you are worried about accidentally swallowing your mouthwash, try using a non-alcoholic or baking soda rinse instead, and if the product irritates your gums, stop using it. Mouthwashes can be very helpful for your oral health, but only when used properly, so make sure to follow these steps before using or prescribing them.