Where does mouthwash fit in your oral care routine?

by | Jul 5, 2023


If you are unsure whether you should use mouthwash, how effective it is and how to fit it into your daily oral care routine, read on and find out how it can be beneficial as a complementary step in your oral health care. While it cannot and should not replace brushing and flossing, when used correctly it provides you with additional protection against oral issues. Maintaining our oral and dental health is one of the best self-care tasks we can do for ourselves as it impacts our overall mental and physical well-being.

What is mouthwash?

A mouthwash or oral rinse is a fortified liquid that helps kill harmful bacteria around the teeth and gums to fight tooth decay and especially bad breath. It usually contains antiseptic or medicinal properties for an addition clean which helps further clean away gum disease-causing plaque. A mouthwash has to be swished around the mouth after brushing and flossing to give that extra clean and dislodge any remaining food particles.

There are many myths surrounding mouthwashes, and the truth is that it works wonders towards helping your mouth feel fresh and clean leaving you with fresher breath. However, mouthwashes are not recommended for children under the age of six.

A mouthwash can reach areas that your toothbrush cannot, so it is able to provide that final thorough cleaning that helps towards preventing a lot of common oral and dental issues.

What are the different types of mouthwash?

Mouthwashes vary according to their purpose and it is always advisable to seek dental advice regarding options that would be best suited to your requirements. Whatever type you opt for it is best to choose alcohol-free varieties because those with alcohol can dry out the mouth and may cause sensitivity if you have any tender spots in your mouth.

Fluoride mouthwashes provide additional protection to the tooth enamel similar to fluoride toothpaste, acting to toughen teeth and fight tooth decay.

If you have a fungal infection or gum problems it would be best if you used an antiseptic mouthwash because it will help prevent the growth of bacteria in your mouth. This is suitable for people with halitosis.

Prescription mouthwashes are made to treat certain oral issues and not just to freshen the breath. If you have inflamed gums or bleeding gums or gingivitis when your dentist will prescribe a mouthwash as part of your treatment towards the healing process.

If you just need additional oomph for your mouth and help with maintaining a fresher breath then cosmetic mouthwashes are ideal. They help with teeth cleaning as they dislodge any remaining food particles for a thoroughly cleansed mouth and teeth.

A natural mouthwash is the best if you have sensitive teeth and would find it too uncomfortable to use anything with alcohol or fluoride in it. If your lifestyle choices do not include using anything with chemicals in it, then these mouthwashes which contain, salt, essential oils and herbs are perfect.

What is the role of mouthwash in your oral care routine

There are heaps of benefits to using a mouthwash in your oral care routine and when done properly it will work towards helping you maintain good oral health.

  • The main benefit of using mouthwash is that it freshens your breath, which is why many people use mouthwash after a meal such as lunch when brushing is not always convenient.
  • As mentioned before, it also works towards removing any food particles remaining that can cause bacteria to breed.
  • This in turn helps prevent tooth erosion and fight gum disease.
  • When you use a fluoride fortified mouth wash it helps reduce tooth sensitivity
  • Helpful with countering dry mouth
  • Certain mouthwashes can be used to help with teeth whitening

How do you include mouthwash in your dental care routine?

If you have not already and are interested in incorporating mouthwash into your daily routine there are a few tips here that will be helpful. As always if you are looking for more than just to freshen your breath ask your dental expert for recommendations for a suitable mouthwash for you.

Generally, it is advised that you use mouthwash about twice a day, maybe after meals. It is best to wait a little after brushing and flossing before using mouthwash to gain maximum benefits for each step. Ask your dentist for advice on whether it is better for you to use the mouthwash right after brushing and flossing or if before would be recommended.

As mentioned previously, be sure to use the right type of mouthwash for you so that it is beneficial for you. Take the effort to seek advice or to do some research and you feel and experience noticeable positives from using the correct type of mouthwash.

Always follow directions and use the correct amount of mouthwash, diluting if necessary. Also, use it for the recommended duration. Keep a timer, watch or clock near you and be precise in how long your swish the mouthwash around in your mouth.


Use mouthwash in your daily oral hygiene routine and up your dental hygiene game because it will help protect your teeth, keep your mouth feeling fresh and also help your teeth achieve a whiter appearance. All these benefits from making a little time to incorporate mouthwash into your routine. A small mouthwash is handy to take with you when you step out for the day, for a quick freshen up, say after lunch or whenever you feel the need so that you can face the rest of the day with confidence.