Caring for Fulham since 2009

750a Fulham Road, Fulham,
London SW6 5SH

257 New Kings Road, Fulham,
London SW6 4RB

750a Fulham Road, Fulham, London SW6 5SH
257 New Kings Road, Fulham, London, SW6 4RB

Mouthwash: Myth or Must-have?

Some people swear by mouthwash, while others are less enthusiastic about its benefits. While everyone is entitled to follow their own daily dental routine, it’s widely accepted that brushing and flossing twice a day, as well as using an antibacterial mouthwash, is the ideal way to keep your teeth in good shape. So, to help you decide if mouthwash is a myth or a must-have, we run you through what you can expect if you add it to your daily dental routine.

Why is mouthwash important for your oral hygiene?

Mouthwash plays an important role in your daily dental hygiene. When used correctly, mouthwash kills harmful bacteria in your mouth and can prevent halitosis and a range of dental issues, including tooth decay. However, it’s important to realise that merely using mouthwash alone shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for brushing and flossing your teeth. On the contrary, mouthwash should be used after brushing and flossing and is a great way to round off your morning and evening dental routines. 

Which type of mouthwash should you get?

While research shows that mouthwash plays an important role in your dental hygiene, it’s important to note that not all mouthwash products are created equally. If you pick up a bottle of mouthwash from the pharmacy or supermarket, you will notice that a range of ingredients listed, including: 

  • Sodium fluoride: Fluoride is a key ingredient in tooth-related products, and it helps to remineralise your teeth and protect them against cavities. 

  • Essential oils: The likes of menthol, thymol, and eucalyptol fight bacteria and provide your mouthwash with that fresh, zingy taste. 

  • Zinc chloride: If you’re hoping to use mouthwash to prevent halitosis (bad breath), then zinc chloride is an essential ingredient, as it suppresses the growth of bad bacteria.

  • Alcohol (ethanol): Although not essential by any means, many mouthwash products contain alcohol. This is used to carry essential oils in mouthwash, but you can find non-alcohol mouthwash products if you prefer. 

  • Sweeteners: One of the most commonly used sweeteners in mouthwash is sodium saccharin, which improves the taste of mouthwash without increasing your risk of tooth decay. 

  • Colouring: As you’re probably aware, the bottles of mouthwash you can buy are all different colours. The colouring added by manufacturers is completely harmless and tasteless, so you don’t need to worry a great deal about its inclusion.

You will need to do a little bit of research into the ingredients in your chosen mouthwash product and make sure that your choice is suitable for your teeth. While there are lots of brands to choose from, Listerine is widely regarded as an industry leader and is a great place to begin.

How to use mouthwash properly?

The key thing to remember when using mouthwash is not to take it immediately after brushing and flossing your teeth. This is because mouthwash can wash away the concentrated fluoride in your toothpaste. So, try and get into the habit of waiting 20-30 minutes before using your mouthwash. When it’s time to take it, add 3-5 teaspoons of mouthwash (or fill the provided measure) before adding it to your mouth. Then, gargle for around thirty seconds before spitting the mouthwash out. You should never digest mouthwash as it’s not meant to be swallowed. Ideally, you should use mouthwash a couple of times a day. 

Overall, we’d say that mouthwash should be an important part of your daily dental routine, but you shouldn’t use it instead of brushing and flossing. If you’re worried about the condition of your teeth, consider scheduling an appointment with one of our dental hygienists, who will advise you on how best to look after your pearly whites on a daily basis. Call us today on 0203 613 3339 to book an appointment and take your first steps towards better dental health. 

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