There are usually two camps of people: Those who find joy in brushing their teeth religiously (for two full minutes each time), flossing every day, and using mouthwash after every brushing. Then there are those who do the bare minimum to keep their pearly whites clean.

Regardless of which group you feel most comfortable in, everyone is familiar with mouthwash. But how does it actually work, and how often should a person use it?

What does Mouthwash Do?

Let’s start with the basics. You’ve likely seen TV commercials talking about mouthwash killing gingivitis. But does it do anything else, and how does it work?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), mouthwash reduces the likelihood of developing:

– Plaque
– Halitosis ( bad breath )
– Gingivitis ( gum disease )
– Tooth decay

It’s also beneficial due to its liquid form which allows it to reach areas that ordinarily are hard to reach with a toothbrush, such as under the gumline and in between your teeth.

That being said, despite all these benefits, children younger than 6 years of age should not use mouthwash. This is because younger kids can have a difficult time following directions or may inadvertently swallow the liquid.

There are two types of mouthwash: Cosmetic and therapeutic. When you go to a general store and see the same brands you see in ads and TV commercials (and their generic counterparts), they are often therapeutic in nature: These are the kind of mouthwash that will actually kill germs and bacteria that cause the oral health issues listed above.

Meanwhile, cosmetic mouthwashes only serve one purpose: to mask bad breath.

How Often Should I Use Mouthwash?

When combined with daily brushing and flossing, swishing mouthwash around your mouth for 30 seconds does kill bacteria associated with plaque, bad breath, and gingivitis.

Using it twice in a 24-hour period is standard. However, not all mouthwashes are created equal. Depending on the ingredients, you may have to use some more often than others. However, only purchase mouth rinses that have a seal indicating they have been approved by the ADA. That’s the only way to be assured the product will do what it says it will do and that it’s safe to use.

Contact Impeccable Smiles Dental Care in Tampa

At Impeccable Smiles, we understand that oral health is not necessarily everyone’s favorite hobby. But we do know that it’s essential to keep your overall health in optimal condition, and we’re here to make the experience as comfortable for you as possible.

Call us or schedule an appointment online.