patient education/ oral hygiene procedures / mouthwashes


Why and How to Use Mouthwash

Mouthwash is a liquid used for rinsing the mouth or gargling with, typically containing an antiseptic.

Why to use mouthwash

Mouthwashes are an adjunct in oral care and are used for a variety of reasons: To freshen breath, to help prevent or control tooth decay, to reduce plaque (a thin film of bacteria that forms on teeth), to prevent or reduce gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease), to reduce the speed that tartar (hardened plaque) forms on the teeth, to reduce hypersensitivity or to produce a combination of these effects.

Medicated mouthwash: For Gingivitis and Periodontitis (Gum diseases), xerostomia (Dry Mouth), halitosis (Bad breath), after surgical extractions (to avoid secondary infection), during Orthodontic treatment (Braces), for sensitivity, fluoridated mouthwash (to prevent caries and decay), with certain antibiotics, etc.

Non medicated mouthwash: Can be used daily to freshen your breath, to reduce plaque accumulation and to mask the foul smell of certain foods like onions and garlic or smoking or alcohol, etc.

How to use mouthwash

You'll get the most benefit from the product if you use it correctly.


Pour your favorite mouthwashinto the dispenser


After brushing your teeth, pour the mouthwash into your mouth. Do not swallow.


Gargle it for about 30 seconds


Do not swallow. Spit it out into the sink


Don't rinse with water immediately after using mouthwash
The cleansing properties of mouthwash continue to work after you have spit it out, and rinsing with water will dilute the wash and minimize these effects.
It is advisable to use mouthwash that contains fluoride which is very good for your teeth.

Use the Right Amount

One way to ensure that you use the right amount of mouthwash is to use a mouthwash dispenser. The dispenser also helps prevent spilling and wasting the mouthwash.

Dilute If Necessary

Be sure to read the label on any brand of mouthwash that you choose. Different brands have different concentrations, and some may recommend that you dilute them with water. Remember, if the label does not tell you to dilute, then you may not get the full benefit of the mouth wash if the germ killing ingredients are at a lower level. ALWAYS FOLLOW MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS.

Mouthwash Is Not a Replacement

It is essential to remember that no mouthwash is a replacement for the regular oral care routine of twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. So, even if your dentist recommends or prescribes a mouthwash, you still need to follow your complete oral care routine to maintain good dental health.

Watch the Clock

Watch the clock. One of the keys to using mouthwash correctly is to swish it in your mouth for the correct amount of time. Read the product label & follow accordingly;most mouthwashes recommend that you swish the product around in your mouth for 30 seconds to one minute, then spit it out.


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