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Why use a mouthwash?

By now you may have realised that cleaning your teeth alone is not enough in the wider task of maintaining good oral health. One further step that can be taken is using a mouthwash, but like flossing, this is a stage that many people either miss out or simply don’t do. In our latest article we’ll take a closer look at why mouthwash is needed and the benefits of doing this.

Ask anyone what you use a mouthwash for and the most common and popular answer would be to make the breath fresh. While this is true, you would think that after cleaning your teeth with toothpaste your breath would be reasonably fresh. If you are then using mouthwash and this is not helping much then there could be an underlying problem. Therefore if you have issues with bad breath then see a dentist as soon as possible. It is a common problem that dentists are used to dealing with and there is no need to be embarrassed.


Mouth washes can normally exists in two types – either an all-purpose one which you can buy from the supermarket, or a special medicated variety which is used for a specific medical purpose and normally to treat some kind of oral problem.

Toothpaste contains fluoride which products against cavities. Brushing teeth is usually enough to help fend off this problem, but if you are prone, a dentist may recommend you use a fluoride-rich mouthwash to provide extra protection.


Mouthwashes do give the mouth and teeth an extra defence in the cleaning and oral routine. Here are some tips and points to bear in mind with using a mouthwash:


1)  Remember to use the correct amount as indicated by the instructions. Using too much is not recommend and makes it more likely you will swallow it which is not the intention.


2) Rinse the mouth round well while keeping your mouth closed. That way the mouthwash can get to all areas of the mouth, meaning it is more likely to do the job it was intended for.


3) It is normally best to avoid eating, drinking or smoking for at least half hour after you have used the mouthwash. This gives the ingredients time to work and allowing your mouth to get the greatest benefit. Some medicated mouthwashes can stain the teeth if certain foods or drinks are consumed shortly afterwards, so bear this in mind.


Many mouthwashes contain alcohol and recently there is debate on whether this is good or bad and whether you should choose an alcohol free variety. In general people who have sensitive mouths or teeth don’t tend to tolerate alcohol based mouthwashes very well, so if this is you, you may wish to try an alternative.


How a mouthwash works depends on its properties, and like toothpaste, many exist to address specific problems aswell as ‘multi-purpose’ varieties that all the family can use.  Studies have shown that using mouthwash in addition to cleaning your teeth can lead to an added reduction in plaque aswell as lowering gum problems. This supports the use of mouthwash in your oral routine very well, and if you don’t currently do it, why not give it a go and see what benefits it can bring you?


Visit our general dentistry section to find out more information on common teeth and mouth issues and how we can help assist you.

Get in touch with us today on 01827 664 35