You hear a lot about the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth every day. But what about mouthwash? Is it necessary to use mouthwash as part of your oral hygiene routine, and how often should you do it? Read on to find out more about the best practices and guidelines for using mouthwash.
Do I need to use mouthwash?
The general consensus is that mouthwash is not a big must-have in your oral hygiene routine. If you’re in a rush and are trying to get out the door as soon as possible in the morning, a quick swig of mouthwash is certainly not an effective substitute for brushing your teeth.
It can have its benefits, however, when accompanying a proper brushing and flossing routine. Firstly, just like rinsing your mouth with water, mouthwash can dislodge food debris from your teeth and gums. It also helps to kill bacteria and can have other benefits such as strengthening your teeth.
When to use mouthwash
If you do use mouthwash, then your instinct is likely to rinse your mouth with it immediately after brushing and flossing. However, this could actually be detrimental to your oral care regimen. Even rinsing with water immediately after brushing can wash away the beneficial fluoride your toothpaste leaves on the surface of your teeth.
It is better to wait at least 30 minutes after brushing before using mouthwash, or you can use your mouthwash at a different time of day. This could be an additional step in your oral care routine, killing bacteria and freshening your breath during the day, between meals for example.
There may also be specific situations where a certain type of mouthwash is helpful and may be recommended to you by your dentist. For example, people with sensitive teeth can use a mouthwash specifically designed to strengthen the enamel and manage symptoms of sensitivity. This may be recommended along with toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
Medicated mouthwash may also be recommended for other conditions and symptoms. It can be used to reverse and treat the early signs of gum disease, for example, helping to manage swelling and other symptoms. It can also treat things like ulcers and canker sores, and help the gums to heal after dental treatment or surgery.
Talk to your dentist about whether to add mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine and the best way to use it. If you need a dental check-up or advice about your oral health, contact Advance Family Dentists to book an appointment with us.