Meyer Orthodontics in Brookings Blog

How and When Should You Use Mouthwash?


Mouthwash is a great addition to your oral hygiene routine, and we know our health-conscious patients in the Brookings area are concerned with creating the optimal oral health regimen!

However, much like toothpaste, there are many varieties of mouthwash, and they often come with differing instructions of how often to use it. So, what’s best?

First Things First – Mouthwash Isn’t Actually Necessary

The most important thing to know is that mouthwash isn’t a “must” – but flossing and brushing are!

There’s no disadvantage to using mouthwash, however, and most bottles recommend using it twice a day. In some cases, a dentist or orthodontist may prescribe a medically oriented mouthwash to help with cotton mouth from medication, or a similar issue.

While not essential, mouthwash is a nice addition to your oral health regimen. But, if you don’t have good flossing and brushing habits, take a step back and start there first. 

Optimize Mouthwash Results

If you do choose to use mouthwash, we want you to reap the full benefits from it. Here are our tips:

  • Get a fluoride rinse – check the ingredients on the bottle. If the mouthwash doesn’t contain fluoride, a natural mineral that helps prevent tooth decay and cavities, it’s not well worth your effort.
  • Gargle for at least 45 seconds – it seems like a long time, but it’s important to take the time to thoroughly coat your mouth and teeth with the mouthwash.
  • Don’t rinse – skip the water after swishing that mouthwash. Instead, let it do its work. When you rinse, you dilute the cleaning and strengthening benefits. (The same goes for brushing!)

Learn More Good Oral Health Practices

We enjoy educating South Dakotans about the best oral health habits. Check out some of our other helpful posts!