How To Properly Use Mouthwash

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Adding a mouthwash or mouth rinsing step to your teeth cleaning routine is highly recommended by dentists in order to maintain clean teeth and healthy gums for years to come. Including this step in your routine will lead to overall better dental hygiene and will also help you fight bad breath!

3 Important Tips For Using Mouthwash In Your Dental Hygiene Routine

While incorporating mouthwash into your dental hygiene is recommended, keep in mind a couple of important tips before you start doing it daily yourself.

  • Avoid heavy concentration of mouthwash, and always dilute it if necessary. Although most dentists won’t recommend diluting your mouthwash concentrate fully, it is important that you understand the product that you’re using before doing so. There are a variety of different popular brands that you’ll find at your local grocery store or pharmacy that can contain different levels of concentration, meaning it’ll be your responsibility to figure out which brand is best for you and your gums.
  • Don’t replace your teeth cleaning routine with mouthwash! While it may be tempting to skip the toothbrush and toothpaste in lieu of something a little bit quicker and easier, doing so will be detrimental to your dental health. Don’t stop brushing and flossing because you’ve added mouthwash to your dental hygiene routine.Even if your dentist recommends using a mouthwash in your routine, you can be sure that they aren’t prescribing it so that you’ll cut out your other key cleaning steps!
  • Keep an eye on the time, don’t overdo it. Although all brands and products can differ, the general rule of thumb for using mouthwash is to not exceed 1 minute, and to swish it around your mouth for a minimum of at least 30 seconds to ensure it does its job. We always recommend reading the product label before determining the proper amount of time needed. 

The Proper Way To Use Mouthwash Daily

Now that we’ve covered the basics and provided some key tips for using mouthwash, let’s dive into the actual process on what this looks like after you’ve brushed and flossed your teeth.

  1. Use the right amount! As mentioned earlier, depending on your product or brand, you’ll want to refer to the label in order to determine how much is needed. If the product seems too strong for your own preference, dilute it accordingly with water. If you are still unsure how much to use, contact your dentist.
  2. Rinse & swish the product in your mouth, do it like you mean it! Make sure to keep your mouth closed and swish the product around to ensure that it’s exposed to all tooth surfaces as well as your gums.
  3. Spit it out! Once you’ve rinsed your mouth out for 30 seconds to 1 minute, spit it out into your sink or otherwise. Oftentimes, mouthwash contains fluoride which can be considered toxic if ingested in large quantities.
  4. Wait! In order to get the maximum benefit from using mouthwash, avoid eating or drinking for ~30 minutes. This will ensure that you don’t get rid of the fluoride on your teeth and gums so that it can do its job.

Now that you’ve figured out the proper steps to use mouthwash, go out to the store and grab some so that you can improve your dental hygiene routine today!

About The Author

Dr. David Giaquinto, DDS

Dentist at Cottonwood Dental

Dentistry is a profession that requires many layers of knowledge and training. My background encompasses three post-grad degrees along with a command of aesthetics and precision. Both of those are necessary when creating the great results that we promise our patients. Being a graduate of the University of New Mexico and Marquette University School of Dentistry has provided me with a launching point for my practice at Cottonwood Dental. My ongoing research… [Read full bio]

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