Mouth Wash: Expert answers commonly asked questions about oral rinse

Do you use mouthwash to maintain oral health? If not then here's why you should and we have the other queries related to it solved. Read on to know more.
Mouth Wash: Expert answers commonly asked questions about oral rinse
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Mouthwash which is also known as an oral rinse is used by many; however, people are either not aware of it or don't know how to use it properly. For the unversed, it is a liquid product to rinse your teeth, gums and mouth. Some variants also have antiseptic to kill harmful bacteria. Some people use mouthwash to kill the bad breath, while others use it to try to prevent the decay of the tooth.

As per studies, the oral rinse can help to prevent plaque, gingivitis, gum disease, mouth ulcers, or swollen gums. The alcohol, menthol and eucalyptol help to clean the crevices between your teeth and hard-to-reach places. Also, one should never ingest the liquid as it can be harmful. As said, there are a lot of misconceptions and doubts regarding mouth wash and that's why we asked Dr. Gunita Singh, Director, Dentem, The Dental and Orthodontic Clinic, to give our Pinkvilla readers an in-depth knowledge about the same.

1. How important is it to clean our mouth with mouth wash?

Mouthwash is of utmost importance for our oral health as there are numerous areas in our oral cavity where the brush can’t reach so mouthwashes are a blessing. It prevents all gum diseases by killing the bacteria that would otherwise infect the dental socket and gums. It also prevents plaque built up and gives you fresh breath. Mouthwash also helps to remove all external particles in the oral cavity and reduces the chances of cavities.

2. Are store-bought ones any good?

Most of them are good unless they are too heavily perfumed. Too much alcohol content also leads to drying of the mouth so better to ask your dentist what type is good for you. 

3. Can it be prepared at home, if yes how?

Nothing can beat our good old grandma's recipe of warm saline rinses. For that, all you need is some lukewarm water and a pinch of salt.

4. What are some common myths about mouthwashes? 

Myth #1. Mouthwashes are an alternative to brushing

It is a myth. Brushing is the most important habit to take care of your teeth. Mouth wash is for extra care and it can never replace brushing.

Myth #2. All mouthwashes are good 

Please do not get fooled by fancy advertisements. Be careful about the ingredients and ask the dentist which mouth wash is good for you.

Myth #3. Mouth wash prevents bad breath

Yes, it might give you some temporary relief, but mouth wash is not the answer to the bad breath as most of the time it is associated with some systemic problem that needs to be taken care of.

Myth #4. This is my favourite mouth wash and I use it every day since ages 

This is actually not right. Any ingredient used long term continuously can be harmful to your body so change is always good. Keep changing every 3 months and as I said, ask the dentist which one is good for you.

5. What is the best test time to use it and how to use it?

The best time to use the mouth wash is after every meal three times a day, but you can play with the type of mouth wash homemade and market ones alternately. In order to get most out of a mouth wash, you should rinse your mouth for at least 30 seconds as it takes for active ingredients to get into action and more bacteria will be removed from the oral cavity. Secondly, it is always better to use the diluted form of the mouth wash ¼ ratio with water being 4 times is the best. 

6. What are some common side effects of mouth wash everyone should know of?

Most of the mouth wash contains too much alcohol and the same leads to drying of the mouth. Chlorhexidine, which is one of the important ingredients, can lead to irritation of gums. Also, some ingredients can cause staining. Also, masking bad breath with mouth wash leads to late diagnosis of actual problem related to the same. So please ask the dentist what is best for you.

If you have any questions related to oral health, mention them in the comments section below and we will try to cover them in our next article.