Brushing and flossing should always be at the top of your list when it comes to oral hygiene. However, mouthwash is often overlooked or just saved for an occasion where you want extra fresh breath. But did you know that it is actually a great addition to your daily routine? There is much more to the bright-colored, minty substance than just masking odors. Here’s everything you need to know about using mouthwash, including how much you should be using.
How Does Mouthwash Benefit Your Oral Health?
While mouthwash may be most commonly known to freshen breath, it has other advantages as well. It also helps to wash away food debris that becomes lodged in hard-to-reach places. As much as brushing and flossing cleans your teeth, they aren’t able to reach every single area of your mouth. Mouthwash can also kill the bacteria in the mouth that are responsible for periodontal disease. In the end, you’re left with a fresher and healthier smile. Just keep in mind that mouthwash should never be used as a substitute for brushing or flossing, but it is a great thing to get in the habit of using afterwards.
How Do You Use Mouthwash?
In order to reap all of the benefits of mouthwash, you should be using it as directed. Bost brands recommend that you use it twice in a 24-hour period after you brush your teeth. Here’s the most effective and safest way to do this:
- Pour 20 millimeters (4 tsp) into a cup.
- Empty the liquid into your mouth.
- Swish the liquid all around your mouth for about 30 seconds. During this time, go ahead and gargle the mouthwash. Allow it to reach all areas of your mouth including the roof, teeth, gums, and tongue.
- Spit the solution out into the sink. Never swallow it.
Can Children Use Mouthwash Too?
Younger children shouldn’t use mouthwash because they’re more likely to accidentally swallow the product. Kids who are under the age of six should not be using it at all, but children between the ages of 6 and 12 can use alcohol-free mouthwash under close adult supervision. All mouth rinses should be stored out of the reach of any children in your home.
If you aren’t already, consider using mouthwash to amp up your oral hygiene routine. Your smile will thank you!
About the Author
Dr. Walter McGinn is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for over three decades. He earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree from the prestigious Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Currently, he is a proud member of the American Dental Association, Connecticut State Dental Association. To learn more about proper oral hygiene or to schedule an appointment at his office in Putnam, visit his website or call (860) 928-3723.