Many people include mouthwash or mouth rinses as a part for their oral hygiene routine. Majority of the people use mouthwash to fight bad breath, while others almost replaces their brushing and flossing with mouthwash. But do you really know your rinsing agent, apart from the fact that it comes in various appealing colors? The following are six popular mouthwash myths that will help you know your mouthwash better.

All mouthwashes are the same

Mouthwash comes in two types: cosmetic and therapeutic. Benefits of using a mouthwash depends mainly on the type of product you use. A cosmetic mouthwash helps get rid of food particles stuck in your teeth, reduce bacteria that reside in your mouth, reduce bad breath for some amount of time. They also generally leave a refreshing taste in your mouth. However, the benefits of using a cosmetic mouthwash is pretty much limited to these.


On the other hand, therapeutic rinses are usually prescribed for many oral problems like periodontal disease, caries, gum inflammation, and dry mouth. They contain extra active ingredients such as essential oils, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine, and fluoride, which help reduce plaque or fight cavities.

Mouthwash causes no harm

Many popular over-the-counter mouthwashes contain large amount of alcohol. Alcohol causes dry mouth, and we all know that dry mouth causes bad breath. It may also irritate oral tissues and increase tooth sensitivity. Medical experts are studying the relation between alcohol containing mouthwash and oral cancer. However, due to lack of conclusive evidence, the study is limited.

Even alcohol-free mouthwashes contain other ingredients that can cause side effects. Many ingredients can cause teeth stain and burning sensation. While essential oils can have an unpleasant and sharp taste, other ingredients like Chlorhexidine can temporarily affect your sense of taste, which is why it isn’t recommended for long-term use. Moreover, these rinsing agents are not meant to be ingested and may affect your body if you swallow it accidentally.

Mouthwash cures bad breath

They may mask stinky breath for a certain period of time and that’s about it. For instance, you may use mouthwash to cover the smell of your garlicky lunch. Since the smell is coming from your lungs as you exhale, freshening your mouth won’t help for long. Also, saliva in your mouth can also dilute mouthwash, thereby reducing its effectiveness.

Mouthwash can substitute brushing

Mouthwash certainly helps reduce the level of bacteria in your mouth, but it’s effect is only temporary. You still need brushing and flossing to keep your mouth and teeth clean. Flossing regularly and brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush can remove plaque and food particles much more than simply rinsing with a mouthwash. It is nothing more than an add-on, which can improve the overall cleanliness of your mouth. However, it cannot replace brushing and flossing.

A little swish is more than enough

Many people rinse/gargle only for a few seconds before they spit out the mouthwash. To get the most effective results, you should keep the mouthwash in contact with your mouth tissues for 30 seconds per use. Due to their strong or stinging sensation in the mouth, many people find it difficult to keep it in their mouth for too long.

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