Mouthwash is a great addition to your oral care regime. Although it is not a replacement for twice daily brushing or daily flossing, it is an effective way to kill germs and leave your mouth and breath fresh and clean.

Selecting the best mouthwash for your needs is the first step. See “Tools of the Trade: Choosing the Best Mouthwash” for an informative post on picking a mouthwash that best meets your needs and the needs of your family.

Mouthwash should be used after brushing and flossing are complete. Sip a small amount of mouthwash into your mouth. With your lips pursed together and your teeth open, swish the mouthwash around your mouth for 30 seconds. Be sure to force the liquid into all corners of your mouth and around your teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. Spit the rinse into the sink and rinse mouth with water. Do not eat or drink for 30 minutes after using mouth wash.

Some mouthwashes will require diluting while others are bottled at full concentration. Be sure to read the label of any mouthwash to ensure that you are using the correct strength. Some washes are made to work best without rinsing afterwards. This usually means that the mouthwash contains antibacterial properties designed to continue killing germs even after mouth washing.

Mouthwash can be used twice a day and helps reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth. This can lead to a lower incidence of tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath in addition to preventing the formation of stains, leaving you with a healthier, brighter smile.

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