Mouthwash is no doubt one of the most essential items you can have in your medicine cabinet. Not only can it get rid of long-lasting bad breath, but it can also get rid of any nasty germs or bacteria that your toothbrush and floss might have missed.
Using mouthwash seems pretty simple at first. All you have to do is gargle and spit it out, right? Well, there are many common mistakes that people can make when choosing and using mouthwash. Here are some dos and don’ts that you should take note of the next time you need to use a good bottle of mouthwash at home.
Antiseptic mouthwashes, otherwise known as mouthwash formulated with ethanol, are often touted as strong and effective tools against bad breath. However, these products also pose a significant risk to your teeth and gums. Many antiseptic bottles of mouthwash often cause dental erosion since they’re very abrasive, and they can also end up worsening dental problems by getting rid of good bacteria from your mouth.
Plenty of mouthwashes these days are specially made to be safe for your teeth and gums. Non-alcoholic might not be as strong or abrasive as antiseptic ones, but they’re less likely to cause any dental erosion or other dental problems with extended use.
Choosing a good mouthwash isn’t just a matter of finding famous brand names. Rather than focusing on the label or brand alone, you should instead check whether or not the mouthwash bottle in your hand contains certain key ingredients. The best mouthwashes are usually formulated with fluoride to strengthen teeth, antimicrobials to eliminate bad bacteria, peroxide to whiten teeth, and odor-neutralizing ingredients to get rid of bad breath.
Mouthwash may be a powerful tool against embarrassing dental hygiene problems, but it shouldn’t be used as a substitute for your toothbrush and floss. Simply rinsing with mouthwash isn’t enough to get rid of harmful dirt, plaque, and bacteria from all corners of your teeth and gums. Every time you forget to floss or brush as needed, you become more at risk of developing painful cavities and other dental problems. Feel free to use mouthwash when you need to, but don’t forget to brush and floss too.
Like most essential products, mouthwash needs a bit of time to work properly. Your mouthwash won’t be able to do its job of cleaning and whitening your teeth if you spit it out after just 1 or 2 seconds of gargling. It’s best to gargle your mouthwash for at least 30 seconds to achieve effective and long-lasting results. You should also check and follow the instructions on your mouthwash bottle to make the most of it.
It’s really not a good idea to drink mouthwash straight from the bottle even if you aren’t sharing it with anyone else. The more your lips touch your mouthwash bottle, the more likely it is for bacteria to accumulate and invade your mouth. Instead, try pouring your mouthwash in a disposable cup first before gargling it. That way, you don’t run the risk of ingesting harmful microbes and bacteria.