Do Not Use Mouthwash Directly After Brushing Your Teeth

Most people know that regular brushing and flossing is vital to the health of teeth and gums.

But questions about the use of mouthwash still linger. If no one has cleared up these questions for you, follow along.

The most common question that I’ve come across when providing dental services for seniors is whether people should use mouthwash straight after brushing their teeth.

This is a wonderful question because using mouthwash is a wonderful addition to your oral care routine, especially if you suffer from bad breath.

I have met a lot of patients who suffer from dry mouth, which sometimes causes bad breath.

Treating the underlying cause of bad breath is the most effective way to get rid of it. But other patients simply need to need to brush their teeth better and use a good mouthwash.

A good mouthwash will help prevent caries, fight bad breath, and prevent gingivitis. However, you need to use the mouthwash correctly to achieve proper results.

When Not to Use Mouthwash

Don’t use mouthwash directly after brushing your teeth with toothpaste. Mouthwash contains chemicals that may wash away fluoride from the toothpaste, according to the National Health Service, UK.

Don’t skip brushing when you are using mouthwash either. Using a mouthwash is fine, but don’t use it to substitute brushing and flossing.

There is nothing better than brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Using a mouthwash alone is not enough to remove plaque that sticks to the teeth.

Eventually, the plaque will cause tartar buildup or even cause decay. So, if you want to make sure your teeth stay healthy, you need to brush twice a day.

How To Use Mouthwash

Some brands of mouthwash might give you specific directions on how to use them. Others will not. If you are not sure about how to use your mouthwash, this is what you should do: –

  • Pour 20ml of your mouthwash into a cup. Then pour the mouthwash into your mouth without diluting it.


  • Slowly rinse each portion of your mouth. Start swishing the mouthwash in the front of the mouth. Move on to the sides of your mouth, making sure the mouthwash reaches the insides of your cheeks,


  • Tilt your mouth and gargle for 15 to 30 seconds in order to reach the bacteria that settle at the back of your mouth.


  • Spit out the excess mouthwash.


  • Don’t eat, drink or smoke for 30 minutes after using mouthwash.

Choosing The Right Mouthwash

Now that you know how to use a mouthwash, it is important to learn how to choose the right one.

There are some brands of mouthwash that contain alcohol and some that are specialized in gum care or for dry mouth.

Depending on what condition you have, it may be good to see your dentist who might recommend the correct mouthwash to use.

In most cases, I recommend that my clients use mouthwash with fluoride in it. For more advice and lessons for the oral health of seniors, invite Sonya Dunbar to give a talk or train caregivers. You can also purchase her book The Tooth and Nothing But the Truth to provide more oral care for seniors.



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