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Are you currently using a mouthwash to help with your daily oral hygiene routine? If so, is it helping? And if not, what can you do differently? Although using an oral rinse is not required as a tool in your oral health kit (unlike toothpaste, toothbrush, and dental floss), it can help you in your efforts against dental caries, gingivitis, and bad breath. Depending on what your health needs are, you can find an oral rinse to help address your needs.

Choosing the Right Mouthwash for You

–Antibacterial mouthwash kills the bacteria causing bad breath.
–Antiseptic mouthwash destroys harmful bacteria in addition to viruses and fungi.
–Cosmetic mouthwash helps your breath smell fresh and makes your teeth feel clean.
–Fluoride mouthwash prevents cavities while protecting and strengthening tooth enamel.

You can use mouthwash before or after you brush and floss. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), both methods work so it is a matter of personal preference. Make sure your mouthwash has the ADA Seal of Approval on the label so that you know the product is both safe to use as well as effective, and all claims have been proven to be accurate.

How to Rinse

–Begin by reading and following all manufacture directions to receive the benefits on the label, don’t skip this step! You can fail to achieve the benefits you are trying for because you are not using the product according to manufacturer’s directions. Some products advise diluting the solution, others do not. The directions will tell you the correct method.

–Pour the solution into your mouth using the cup that comes with your mouthwash or a small cup you have set aside for this purpose.

–Close your mouth completely to create a seal. You don’t want to spill mouthwash while you swish it around vigorously.

–Swish back and forth for approximately 30-60 seconds. Make sure you swish the front and back of your teeth, including the molars, under the tongue, and the roof of the mouth. Don’t skip gargling your mouthwash to kill any lingering germs in the back of the mouth.

–After you spit out the mouthwash, you may or may not use water to rinse out the wash. If you don’t rinse with water, don’t drink anything for at least ten minutes. If you use a hydrogen peroxide or mouthwash with a high alcohol content, do rinse after using, as these can irritate and dry out your mouth.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our dental team at 860-673-7155 today!