Patient Education

The Dos and Don’ts of Using Mouthwash

Mouthwash isn’t just used for a fresh breath or a quick way to feel like you’ve covered your oral health routine for the morning. It actually has some great hygienic properties but only if you use it right. Here are a few things to remember when it comes to using mouthwash.


Search for a rinse that will be right for your oral needs. If you’re fighting sensitivity, make sure you pick one that’s not too harsh. If you want to focus on plaque removal, choose one with fluoride.

Choose a mouthwash without alcohol. Alcohol dries out your mouth which can lead to a more hospitable environment for bacteria. Without saliva, plaque and sugars aren’t washed away, which mean erosion and decay is likely if the condition persists.


Don’t use mouthwash on its own. Add it to your healthy oral routine along with brushing and flossing. All three together work hard to make sure you’re attacking all the known causes of oral harm.

Don’t use it like a breath freshener. Chances are, bad breath (if not cured by a step away from onions and garlic or better brushing) is a sign of a bigger health problem. If you’re swishing constantly with mouthwash to get that minty fresh taste, you might want to consider going to a doctor and leaving this temporary solution to those looking for plaque removal.

Remember to use mouthwash as directed on the bottle in conjunction with brushing and flossing. Ask your dentist for tips on his or her favorite wash and be sure to keep up with your twice daily oral hygiene routine.

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