Mouthwash – what’s the point?

8th November 2022

As you know, we are always emphasising the need for us all to have a good, regular, oral care regime to ensure best dental health.

We’re often asked, “Which mouthwash should I be using?” and the response isn’t always the one our patients expect.

In most cases, mouthwash often offers very little of benefit compared to normal, effective cleaning with a fluoride toothpaste. Most patients, when asked, tell us they use their mouthwash to rinse after they’ve brushed.

We’ve already covered the importance of “spit don’t rinse” in our ‘5 tips for a healthy mouth’ blog where we advise that in order to gain the most benefit from the fluoride in your toothpaste, you should leave the residue in your mouth after brushing. The last thing we want is for you to rinse away that fluoride-rich residue and replace it with a mouthwash that doesn’t have any physical benefit for your teeth or gums.

To be honest, the only time when a mouthwash might be useful is if you are physically unable to brush your teeth, or if you have been specifically recommended a product by a dental professional.

There are some mouthwashes which are actually quite helpful in treating gum problems, but these are not generally designed for regular use. Your dentist or hygienist will discuss these with you if they are appropriate.

If you feel that you just can’t be without a mouthwash because you like the way it makes your mouth feel, then it’s important to use it at a time other than when brushing. You could use before you brush your teeth or wait at least 30-40 minutes after brushing.

I would say that the short time you normally spend using a mouthwash would be much better spent on interdental cleaning.

As ever, the best thing is to discuss your individual needs with your dental professional – we’re always here to offer advice…


Should we mouthwash?
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Coppice View Dental Care
104 Kings Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 5HH