You have probably heard that mouthwash is a valuable addition to any dental hygiene routine, but you may not understand why. Simply swishing a tingly liquid around in your mouth may not seem like a big deal, but new research published in 2013 shows that patients who use an effective mouth rinse along with their tooth-brushing routine are able to reduce their gingivitis and plaque significantly. Here is a simple explanation of how mouthwash works.

Toothbrushes Are Limited

Although toothbrushes are extremely helpful for removing plaque and bacteria from the visible surfaces of the teeth, they can only reach about 60 percent of the tooth surface, leaving 40 percent (around the cracks and between teeth) where bacteria love to grow and flourish. Mouthwash, on the other hand, is able to reach almost 100 percent of the various surfaces in the mouth, which makes it invaluable for cleaning hard-to-reach areas.

Antiseptic Properties

Some types of mouthwash are formulated to have anti-plaque and antiseptic properties. This means that individuals who rinse with antiseptic mouthwashes may be able to kill a significant portion of the bacterial plaque found within the mouth. When used in conjunction with regular brushing and flossing, mouthwash can offer the following benefits:

  • Reduced tooth decay
  • Decreased instances of bad breath
  • Reduced chance of developing gingivitis

How Mouthwash is Used

Mouthwash is most effective when it is forcefully swished around the mouth. This action helps the mouthwash to reach the gaps between the teeth and remove food particles and bacteria from those areas. Individuals who have bad breath are also encouraged to gargle with mouthwash because the bacteria that cause bad breath often reside in the back of the tongue and throat.

It is important not to swallow mouthwash, since it may contain alcohol and other ingredients that are not safe for ingestion. In order to discourage swallowing, it is recommended that you only put a pre-measured amount of mouthwash in your mouth at a given time.

Improve Your Dental Health

If you want to add to your current dental regimen and improve your dental health even more, purchase high-quality mouthwash and use it on a regular basis.