Mouthwash is extremely good for the teeth and the gums. It can get to places where you cannot reach with a toothbrush or even with dental floss, the other two members of the holy trinity of at home oral care. Mouthwash is effective at removing stains, killing bacteria and freshening the breath by drenching the soft tissues and removing the bacterial colonies living on the tooth gaps, the tongue and the periodontium. But is every mouthwash created equal? And how often should mouthwash be used for maximum effectiveness? Can you overuse mouthwash? These are some of the questions we seek to answer.
The right kind of mouthwash
It is vitally important that you buy alcohol free mouthwash. Alcohol dries out the mucous membranes of the mouth, and can cause more harm than good if used frequently. The other ingredients to look out for are parabens, as they are not necessary for your oral health and are carcinogens. Some mouthwash comes with sugars for flavouring, usually children’s mouthwash. These should also be avoided, as it is counter-productive to use sugar in mouthwash. The right kind of mouthwash should taste good and not have unnecessary additives. Some people prefer the more natural brands of mouthwash that use tea tree oil or peppermint oil, or even sumac berries. These frequently taste very bitter and plant like, and not everyone likes them, but the non-organic mouthwashes that are on the market are just as effective and pose no health threats at all.
Mouthwash: how often
Mouthwash should be used twice a day, when you wake up and after the last time you brush your teeth. Using it more can cause over usage, and you can kill some useful things in your mouth as well, and dry out your mucous membranes. This should be avoided as it causes the natural immune responses in your mouth to be delayed, which can lead to more frequent tooth decay and other problems as well. If you are unsure, contact your dentist and ask about how often you should use mouthwash. Mouthwash is most effective with dental floss, as the partially cleaned tooth gaps are completely washed through with mouthwash, killing all remaining bits of bacteria. You should gargle with mouthwash and swish it around in your mouth for around two minutes each time, to make sure that all bacteria are exposed for a prolonged period of time.