Using a mouthwash after you brush and floss can be beneficial to your oral health, however there are a few misconceptions that patients have regarding the use of this popular oral antiseptic.
Myth #1: Mouthwash cures bad breath.
Although mouthwash can certainly leave your mouth feeling fresh and give you a nice minty breath, these effects are only momentary. If you suffer from bad breath (halitosis) you'll soon notice that after a few minutes the bad breath will start to return. Since most of the bad breath comes from bacteria that sit in your mouth (especially on the back of the tongue). The solution to bad breath is brushing, flossing and scraping the back of your tongue, not mouthwash alone.
Myth #2: Mouthwash can replace brushing and flossing.
Using a mouthwash properly can help reduce bacterial levels, but this doesn't mean that it will kill all of the bacteria and prevent cavities and gum disease. Mouthwash should be use in addition to brushing and flossing so you can remove most of the bacteria by the mechanical action of brushing and flossing then letting the mouthwash do its job on the remainder of the bacteria that is left in your mouth.
Myth #3 Rinsing with mouthwash for a few seconds is good enough.
In order for a mouthwash to be effective you must use if for the proper amount of time. We found that mouthwashes that contained alcohol always recommended to rinse with it for 30 seconds, in fact we didn't find a single alcohol-based mouthwash that didn't recommend using it for 30 seconds. We also noticed that mouthwashes that contained CPC (Cetylpyridinium Chloride) required that you use them for 60 seconds, as it appears that this active ingredient may take longer to take effect. So look at the label on your mouthwash and find the proper amount of time that you should be using your specific mouthwash.
Myth #4 All mouthwashes are the same.
Not all mouthwashes have the same purpose. Although several mouthwashes contain some sort of antimicrobial (either an alcohol or CPC), there are some that don't and only target certain concerns. For example, some mouthwashes may only contain active ingredients to help with teeth whitening, others will only address bad breath and others will only help prevent tooth decay. It's always a good idea to identify the main concern before buying a mouthwash.
Myth #5 It's OKAY to rinse after using mouthwash.
The simple answer is no. Again, in order for a mouthwash to be effective it must remain in your mouth for a sufficient amount of time. Rinsing your mouth immediately after using a mouthwash will reduce its effectiveness, therefore we strongly recommend that you avoid doing this. If there reason why you feel like rinsing is because "it burns!" then consider using a mouthwash that doesn't contain alcohol in order to avoid this problem.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, we hope you found it informative. Remember to always use your mouthwash as instructed on the label or as recommended by your dental professional. If you have any questions please leave them in the comment section below. If you enjoyed and found it educational please share it with your friends and family on Facebook and follow us on Instagram. It only takes 1 minute of your time and it helps us out a lot. Thanks