How Often Should I Use Mouthwash?

mouthwashA commonly asked question by dental patients is “Should I use mouthwash every day?”

It may seem silly, but it’s actually a good question. By now you already know that it’s important to brush at least 3 times a day.  We also hazard a guess that you already know that flossing ideally has to be done after every meal if you want to control plaque and tartar buildup in those hard-to-reach areas between the teeth. However, what about mouthwash, something that is mainly associated with emergencies, like dates and after a good meal of something garlicky or full of onions; how often should you use it?

It’s important to understand however, that mouthwash isn’t just a last-resort tool you can turn to eliminate bad breath in a flash for emergencies. It’s generally understood that everyone wants fresh breath, however, keeping away halitosis for good boils down to good oral hygiene habits done on a consistent, everyday basis. Yes, that’s include a regular swish of mouthwash.

Brushing isn’t enough, as it misses plenty of areas in the mouth. Both flossing and mouthwash covers for the remaining real estate in the mouth, such as the areas between teeth and below the gum line. Mouthwash in particular is highly effective at eliminating sulfur compounds (which cause bad breath) and killing bacteria that causes tooth decay, sore throat, respiratory problems, even cancer.

The key to using mouthwash effectively is following the directions on the bottle. This is important, as not all brands of mouthwash have the same dosages and strength. Be sure to use the recommended amount, don’t swallow the rinse and watch out for side effects, such as mouth sores caused by alcohol in the wash.

It’s also worth pointing out that for about 1 in every 4 people, mouthwash will do hardly anything to solve their breath problems. This is usually the case in halitosis caused by severe tooth decay; gum disease; stomach problems such as acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); heavy smoking and use of tobacco; usage of certain medications and more. If you’re suffering from any of these problems, we advise you to address these problems first to get to the root of the problem, instead of wasting money on mouthwash. Moreover, an antibacterial mouthwash is not equivalent to proper treatment for gum disease. If you have gingivitis, the disease needs to be treated with proper medication, not mouthwash.

If you suffer from chronic bad breath, take full grasp of the situation by undergoing a dental checkup today.

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