October 31st, 2013
Mouthwash is an essential key to proper oral hygiene. However, many Americans misuse the product, either by using too much, too little, or often not using it for the right amount of time. To ensure that you’re using the proper mouthwash practices, we would like to offer you this simple guide to using mouthwash.
There are several kinds of mouthwashes to choose from, and knowing what you want your mouthwash to do for you can help you choose which is right. However, all mouthwashes do have a simple, yet main purpose: to help kill bacteria and flush away loose plaque in your mouth. Following the steps below, no matter what kind of mouthwash you use, will ensure that its main objective is completed.
Floss and Brush First
Many confuse this, but the proper way to practice good oral hygiene with mouthwash is by flossing, brushing, and then using your mouthwash. Flossing is your first step to loosen and remove bacteria and plaque from the hard to reach spaces between and under your teeth. Brushing removes that plaque along your gum line and on the top of your teeth. Mouthwash then sanitizes and kills any bacteria that may be left in the mouth that your toothbrush could not reach. Together, this tri-force of oral hygiene will make your mouth shine with cleanliness.
Use The Right Amount
After flossing and brushing, you need to make sure you use the right amount of mouthwash. You don’t want to use too much as you might swallow it, and if you use too little, you won’t feel the effects of the solution. While each mouthwash may recommend varying amounts (check the bottles directions), the standard is 20 mL of the solution. Some bottles have caps with measuring markers to determine the right amount. If you use Dixie cups, you’ll want to fill just less than a third of it with mouthwash.
Dilute If You Must
Some mouthwash companies recommend you dilute your mouthwash with water. Read your product’s directions to determine if you must dilute. If you have trouble using mouthwash, we suggest diluting just slightly. Adding too much water to your mouthwash can hurt your chances of killing all bacteria.
It’s best to have a watch or clock to keep good time when cleaning your teeth. With flossing and brushing taking over 4 minutes, you might become impatient and cut your mouth-washing short. Unfortunately that can keep the mouthwash from working effectively. We recommend using your mouthwash for 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on the products’ directions. Most will recommend using mouthwash between that amount of time. We like to play it safe and always use it for a full minute.
When it comes to using the mouthwash, swish it back and forth in your mouth, and make sure to reach all areas from the top gums to lower front teeth. Just before spitting, gargle the solution for a few seconds making sure not to swallow it.
Spit your mouthwash out and try to avoid rinsing your mouth with water. If you must, only rinse once. When finished, avoid eating anything for at least 30 minutes. We recommend using mouthwash once a day, preferably at nighttime so you avoid eating afterward.
It’s as simple as that. If you follow these directions, you’ll be well on your way to a great smile and fresh breath. And remember to visit your dentist at least twice a year for routine cleanings and check ups. Call Water Tower Dental today if you’re looking for expert dentists that can help you revitalize your mouth and give you the smile you deserve.