One’s dental hygiene care would not be complete without gargling a mouthwash at least once a day. Keeping our mouth fresh and clean boosts our confidence when conversing with other people. That is because we believe in the magic of what a simple swish of a mouthwash does to our breath. With just one gargle of the mouth and at the back of your throat, spit it after 30 seconds, then voila, you will definitely feel fresh and confident all throughout the day.
Using a mouthwash could be an easy thing to do. However, most people still lack knowledge of the benefits of what this oral care can do to our lives. If you wish to know more about the history and benefits of mouthwash, this article is perfect for you.
History of Mouthwash
Mouth rinsing has been widely used in southern Asia, Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome. Aristocratic Greeks and Romans during the ancient time used salt water and vinegar to wash their mouths as part of their medical practice. Some utilize urine, goat’s milk or white wine to rinse their mouth.
Meanwhile, mouthwash composed of plants or saltwater have been predominantly used in the culture of North and South America to treat sore throat, teething or ulcers. These methods were found to be more efficient than the techniques in Europe, where individuals employed a variety of approaches to rinse their mouths, including vinegar with mint or cold water.
Today, mouthwash solutions have progressed over the years. In fact, the first modern mouthwash to be widely used was invented in the 1800’s composed of alcohol to keep the mixture stable while fighting germs.
Among the most popular mouthwash brands we have today, Listerine, was initially created as a disinfecting solution for surgery and to polish floors. More mouthwash brands emerged with differing ingredients and comes with a variety of colors and level of coolness. Some are designed to keep our breath fresh; some are made to fight cavities and keep our teeth white, and others are created for gum-care.
Pros of Using Mouthwash
1. Fresh Breath
One of the major purposes of using a mouthwash is to improve and freshen our breath. Gargling a mouthwash solution for 30 seconds will definitely give you a minty feeling in your mouth. Using a mouthwash is also a good practice before having a speaking engagement in an event or in a simple conversation face-to-face.
2. Helps remove food particles
Washing your mouth with a mouthwash after taking your toothbrush will further eradicate unwanted food debris in your teeth. This can be done after a regular brushing and flossing.
3. Prevents Gum Disease
Mouthwash contains a solution that helps eliminate germs and bacteria that can cause gum disease. Swishing twice a day can help reduce bacteria and eliminate chances of acquiring a gum disease.
4. Prevents Cavity
Most mouthwash solutions can help prevent tooth cavities from forming. This is because of the presence of fluoride in the mixture which fights tooth decay and strengthens enamel.
5. Prevents plaque to form
Dental plaques usually form when one fails to brush their teeth properly after meals. It builds up out of leftover foods and saliva that mix in our mouth. Using mouthwash will help remove existing plaque. However, this practice must be paired with brushing to effectively remove plaques.
6. Whitens Teeth
Some mouthwash brands contain ingredients that help whiten teeth such as hydrogen peroxide. There are specific types of mouthwash that serves as a bleaching agent to your teeth.
Cons of Using Mouthwash
Despite it being a quick solution to some oral problems, intensive use of mouthwash can lead to more problems if not used with caution. Here are some cons of using excessive mouthwash.
1. Oral Cancer
Mouthwashes that contain strong alcohol can have a negative impact on the soft tissues in the mouth. While the alcohol in some mouthwash helps fight germs and bacteria, it can lead to harshness and complications that are associated with oral cancer. Choosing a mouthwash with alcohol-free can help prevent potential oral cancer from happening.
2. Oral Irritation
Over usage of mouthwash might lead to irritation in the mouth due to the level of alcohol it contains. Strong alcohol contact might result in more irritation of your mouth. If such a problem happens, make sure to contact your doctor.
3. A mask for worsening oral problems
Most people use mouthwash as a solution for a worsening oral problem. It is important to note that using mouthwash is not a component to solve deteriorating oral health.
4. Not safe to consume
Mouthwash solutions if accidentally swallowed may cause harmful effects to your health. Some mouthwash contains harsh ingredients that are not safe, especially to children under the age of six.
Excessive use of mouthwash can dry your mouth. This can lead to more oral problems such as tooth sensitivity, bad breath, cavities, and irritated gums.
How To Use Mouthwash
Using a mouthwash might be simple to do, but if it is your first time, being aware of how it works matters. Knowing how to use it properly will help you achieve your desired results for your oral and dental struggles. Here are some steps to take note when using a mouthwash.
1. Read the directions of the manufacturer. The instructions of using a mouthwash are usually placed behind the product. It will give you further insights of how to use the solution.
2. Swish at least four teaspoons of mouthwash solution around your mouth. Be mindful not to swallow it.
3. Gargle for 30 seconds and include the area at the back of your mouth.
4. Spit out the liquid.
It may sound easy, however, it is always better to be sure on how to use a product especially such as a mouthwash that contains strong chemicals.
The use of mouthwash has proven to be a reliable practice to improve our oral and dental health. It has advantages that boosts our confidence in talking in front of a crowd or to someone in a close distance. However, it is essential to remember that mouthwash is not an option for us not to properly brush our teeth thrice a day. While it offers a short-term solution over minor oral issues, it is not a cure for mouth problems. It can be considered an additional health care that improves our oral health.