While the concept of using mouthwash should be relatively simple, the truth is that there is more to it than most people realize. There are right and wrong ways to use your mouthwash that you may not be fully aware of. While using mouthwash incorrectly is not immediately detrimental to your overall health, it can have an adverse impact on the management of your oral health. Due to the inconsistency in the information regarding mouthwash out there today, here is a simple and clear list of common every day do’s and don’ts that you should adhere to with your mouthwash use.
DON’T Assume That All Mouthwash Contains Fluoride
In a perfect world, it would make sense that all mouthwash formulas include an optimum quantity of fluoride in them. Unfortunately, fluoride is not included in all mouthwash products, and you will be wasting your time and money by neglecting to check on this. Fluoride does not directly remove plaque off the teeth, but instead, it functions by protecting your teeth from the harmful acids that bacterial plaque produces. It helps to protect against cavities by incorporating itself into your tooth enamel. Fluoride not only helps to prevent tooth decay, but it is able to reverse the early stages of it. Fluoride does this by giving your teeth that have been acid damaged an opportunity to re-mineralize themselves. If your mouthwash does not contain a significant amount of fluoride, you might as well be using mint flavored water as your mouthwash.
DON’T Swig Mouthwash Straight Out Of The Bottle
This next “don’t” of mouthwash use is one of those things that people know they shouldn’t be doing, but of course, they do it anyway. Even if you are not sharing the bottle of mouthwash with anyone, you still should not be swigging it straight out of the bottle. While you would probably like to think so, your mouth actually is not clean even after brushing and flossing thoroughly. Every single time you take a swish from right out of your mouthwash bottle, residual debris, bacteria, and other unpleasant microorganisms enter the bottle and make it their new home. The best thing you can do is use small disposable cups with your mouthwash. While using the cap of the mouthwash bottle that is shaped like a cup works too, it is important to know that unless you clean it frequently, it will have the same effects on the mouthwash bottle as drinking directly from it.
DON’T Use Mouthwash With A High Alcohol Content
Contrary to what most of society tends to believe about alcohol content in mouthwash, you should understand that more is not always better. While a swish with alcohol antiseptic mouthwash every once in a blue moon will not hurt you, using it on an everyday basis can do more harm than good to the natural balance inside of your mouth. The presence of alcohol in your mouthwash can result in the drying out of your tongue and your mouth in general. A dry mouth can exacerbate the effects that plaque has on your teeth in addition to expediting the tooth decay process.
DO Look At Mouthwashes With Special Properties
You are most likely aware of the millions of mouthwash products on the market today. You should not just grab a large generic bottle of mouthwash and call it a day. Since there are numerous types of mouthwash products that cater to different oral conditions and needs, you should take advantage of them. There are mouthwash products that help with tooth sensitivity, ones that are specially formulated for those who are prone to canker sores and ulcers, ones that help with tooth staining, and hundreds of others. At the very least, just take a look at the different kinds of mouthwash products to see if any of them can help with a specific issue you might have.
DO Use Mouthwash After Consuming Sugary Snacks Or Drinks
It is often thought that mouthwash can only be used after brushing your teeth and flossing. This is not true, as mouthwash can and should be used more frequently than that. If you consume a particularly sugary food and or beverage, it is a wise idea to rinse with mouthwash afterward to reduce the risk of tooth decay. While using mouthwash should NEVER be substituted for brushing and flossing your teeth, it can be used more frequently then just after your routine brushing and flossing.