Mouthwash is a liquid that aids in the maintenance of oral health.



We will be talking about mouthwash was today. Do you use mouthwash? How often do you use it? Mind you, never use mouthwash as alternative to toothbrushing and flossing. Most individuals thinks using it is not necessary, but do you know you are missing so many benefits. Before you buy mouthwash ensure it is dentist recommended, a reputable brand, and ADA approved.

What is mouthwash? Mouthwash is a liquid product used to rinse the mouth to prevent tooth decay, halitosis, gum diseases and reduce build up of plaque. You are to gargle the mouthwash and not to swallow. Children of 6years down are not allowed to use mouthwash to avoid having them swallow the liquid.

Types of mouthwash 

There are 2 types of mouthwash;

  1. Cosmetic mouthwash
  2. Therapeutic mouthwash

Cosmetic mouthwash:- This type of mouthwash have no chemical or biological application and may temporarily control bad breath and leave behind a pleasant taste. This is the kind of mouthwash people use when there is an urgent matter arising, like an interview, dates, because they would not want to be disgraced due to bad breath.

Therapeutic mouthwash:- This is the type of mouthwash that have active ingredients that kills bacterial, reduce plaque formation, gingivitis, bad breath and cavities.

Contents of a therapeutic mouthwash

Therapeutic mouthwash contains ingredients such as;

  1.  Cetylpyridinium chloride:-  It is also known as CPC. It is a chemical compound used as an active ingredient in mouthwash to fight against bacterial within dental plaque, prevents halitosis, and reduce gingivitis. It can also be found in some toothpaste.
  2. Chlorhexidine:- It is also known as chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG). It reduces the amount of bacterial in your mouth, often it is used to treat gingivitis. Ensure to inform your dentist before you use it; tell your dentist if you have any allergy, any dental restoration, periodontal diseases, or fillings. This is because Chlorhexidine may stain your teeth, dentures, tongue, cause dry mouth, increase tartar, give an unusual taste in the mouth, mouth irritation, mouth ulcers, sores inside the mouth or lips, swelling of the salivary glands. For those that have allergy it may lead to difficulty in breathing, swelling of the throat, lips, face or tongue.

Uses of chlorhexidine

  • It can be used as mouthwash
  • Disinfectants to disinfect skin before surgery
  • To sterilize surgical instruments
  • To disinfect skin of patient and hands of the health care provider
  • To clean wounds
  • To treat yeast infections of the mouth
  • To keep urinary catheters from blocking

3. Essential oils:- It helps to fight bad breath. There are so many examples of essential oil that can be used in mouthwash. Some of which include;

  • Peppermint and spearmint:-  They help to treat pain and prevent mouth odor.
  • Rosemary essential oil:- It prevents mouth odor and it has a good taste.
  • Eucalyptus essential oil:-  IT helps to prevent build up of plaque, cavities and gingivitis.
  • Lemon essential oil:- It strengthens gum and whitens teeth.
  • Clove oil:- It fights germs, prevents bad breath. Dilute if you want to use it raw.
  • Myrrh oil:- It strengthens gums and it has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.

4. Fluoride mouthwash:- Fluoride helps to prevent cavities, make the teeth stronger. Ensure to notify your dentist if you notice any change in color of teeth because this could be as a result of too much fluoride.

5. Hydrogen peroxide:- It kills bacterial and virus in your mouth, heals wound or  sores in the mouth.

Why should you use mouthwash?

It is very advisable to use mouthwash as it will help you prevent;

  1. Tooth decay(cavities)
  2. Gum diseases(gingivitis)
  3. Bad breath(halitosis)
  4. Reduce plaque formation

When best to use mouthwash

It can be used before you brush your teeth to remove debris and soften the tartar on your teeth before brushing so that it will be easier to remove the tartar. Fluoride mouthwash can be used some hours after brushing  because it helps to prevent cavities and plaque build up.

         Mouthwash should be one of your daily routine for a good oral health, especially for those that are prone to caries or oral infections. If you are still not sure on the best mouthwash that suites you, please consult your dentist for more advice or you can try using a reliable brand.

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Nneka Jovita
Nneka Jovita

Oral Health

Nelly on Oral Health
Nelly on Oral Health

This where you will be guided on how to take care of your oral cavity(mouth) to prevent oral disease and other problems like mouth odor(halitosis). When I say oral cavity it means all the structures in your mouth like; teeth, tongue, hard and soft palate. uvla, tonsil, gum, salivary glands, etc. So, join us and learn more about how to take care of your mouth and stay healthy.

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