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A good mouthwash rinse before or after brushing and flossing your teeth can help you in your fight against dental caries and gingivitis, as well as halitosis (bad breath). First you will need to decide what issue you would like to address, and then find the right rinse for the job:

An antibacterial mouthwash kills the bacteria that actually causes bad breath.

An antiseptic mouthwash kills bacteria along with viruses, and fungi, etc. but it also contains alcohol which can dry out the mouth.

A fluoride mouthwash prevents cavities while protecting and strengthening tooth enamel.

A cosmetic mouthwash helps your breath smell fresh and your teeth feel clean.

Next, decide when to use it, whether it be before or after you brush and floss. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), timing doesn’t matter, either way works well and does the job. The trick to using a mouthwash correctly is to make sure you rinse long enough for it to work. It is recommended that you keep it in the mouth anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds, any less than that and you won’t reap the benefits.

When looking for the right product for your needs, choose a mouthwash which carries the ADA Seal of Approval on the product packaging. This ensures that it is both safe to use and effective, and does exactly what it says.

How to Correctly Use Mouthwash

First, read and follow all manufacturer directions, and pour the specified amount into your mouth. Next, close your mouth to create a seal. This prevents it from spilling out when you swish it around in the mouth. Swish back and forth for about 30-60 seconds, swishing the front and the back of your teeth, including the molars, under the tongue, and the roof of the mouth.

Don’t forget to gargle as this kills any germs hiding at the back of the mouth. You can gargle with the solution still in the mouth, or rinse and gargle with a fresh amount for another 30-60 seconds. To gargle, place mouthwash into your mouth and take a deep breath. Tilt your head back as far as it will go and open your mouth. Say “ahhhh’ slowly, and when you run out of air, tilt your head back to its normal position and take another breath. Repeat, then spit out the solution.

It is best not to drink anything for at least ten minutes if you don’t rinse your mouth afterwards with water. If you are using a hydrogen peroxide or high alcohol mouthwash, you should definitely rinse with water after using as these mouthwashes can irritate and dry out your mouth.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our Monon Family Dental team at 317-810-9285 today!