How to Properly Use Mouthwash
Follow These Steps to Fresher Breath
Unlike your toothbrush, mouthwash has no limits. It can easily go between your teeth, around your gums and over your tongue. Just a few swishes can add another layer of freshness and protection for your mouth, too. If you’ve ever wondered about how to properly use mouthwash and get the most benefit from it, here are answers to some commonly asked questions.
Which mouthwash should you choose?
Start by picking the mouthwash that fits your lifestyle and needs. There are two basic types of mouthwash – cosmetic and therapeutic.
Cosmetic mouthwashes are a short-term attempt to temporarily control or reduce bad breath after having an extra slice of garlic bread. It may leave your mouth with a temporary fresh taste and clean feel, but it doesn’t provide any extra protection, and generally does not actually eliminate bad breath.
Therapeutic mouthwash combats bad breath, plus has active ingredients that can kill bacteria or may include fluoride to help prevent or reduce tooth decay. Many of these are available at your local store, but some need to be prescribed by a dentist for specific oral health issues.
What’s inside that bottle?
Mouthwash includes a wide range of ingredients. Since cosmetic mouthwash is temporary, it doesn’t contain the active ingredients found in many therapeutic options.
Common active ingredients in therapeutic mouthwash can include:
- Cetylpyridinium chloride – antiseptic to combat germs and bacteria
- Chlorhexidine – available by prescription only to combat plaque and gingivitis – but also discolors teeth and contains alcohol
- Essential oils – to help control plaque and gingivitis
- Fluoride – to prevent tooth decay
- Peroxide – to whiten teeth
These are combined with other ingredients, that may include alcohol, saccharin, and chemical preservatives, such as parabens. Although it’s highly recommended to avoid products containing parabens due to the potential link to cancer. There are also natural mouthwashes made with ingredients from plants and minerals. Unfortunately, these natural remedies are usually ineffective in the medium and long term.
When should you use mouthwash?
Mouthwash does not replace brushing and flossing your teeth. Keep your normal dental care routine and use mouthwash either before or after you brush and floss your teeth.
Here are some quick brushing and flossing tips:
- Brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice per day, using a soft-bristle toothbrush and your favorite toothpaste.
- Gently floss between your teeth daily before or after you brush.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months and sooner if you’ve had a recent illness. Always use a new piece of floss.
How do you use mouthwash?
Knowing how to properly use mouthwash depends on the directions listed on the bottle.
Read those carefully to get the best results and follow these steps:
- Check to see if you need to dilute your mouthwash with water.
- Pour the recommended amount into a cup or the mouthwash cap, which may include a fill line for measuring. Drinking directly from the bottle is not sanitary.
- Rinse your mouth for 30 seconds to a full minute, based on the label directions.
- Spit it out when you’re done. Never drink or swallow mouthwash.
- Don’t rinse after mouthwash, unless it’s listed on the label. If you’re using a fluoride mouthwash, avoid eating, drinking or smoking for at least 30 minutes.
How does SmartMouth work?
SmartMouth mouthwash uses the dual activation of a two-liquid solution to stop bad breath and prevent it from returning for 24 hours.
- Pour the dual-chamber bottle into the cap. Don’t worry, it is normal for each liquid to pour out at different speeds.
- The sulfur eliminating liquid destroys the existing bad breath in your mouth. The zinc ion liquid activates to prevent the bacteria in your mouth from producing bad breath causing volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). The smell of these VSCs is what we all know as “bad breath”. Bad breath is sulfur gas.
- Have fresh, clean breath for 24 hours when you use it twice per day.
- Take SmartMouth when you’re on-the-go with our SmartMouth Original Activated Mouthwash Single Packs
Now you can take the guesswork out of knowing whether or not your breath is fresh by knowing how to properly use mouthwash.