Do I need mouthwash?

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Do you use mouthwash? 

Daily? Sparingly? When it’s free in the hotel room? 

Or is that something that doesn’t even cross your mind? 

Mouthwash is interesting because it’s widely available, but not recommended for everyone. 

Oftentimes dental patients wonder if it’s necessary for the health of their mouth and will ask: Do I need mouthwash?

Let’s take a look at what mouthwash is, what it’s used for, and if it’s right for you. 


Mouthwash, which can also be referred to as a mouth or oral rinse, can support fresh breath and a healthy mouth.

This antiseptic can also be used to fight-off bacteria found on the tongue and between the teeth. 

Keep in mind that mouthwash isn’t a replacement for brushing and flossing.

And it isn’t a quick fix for bad breath (well, maybe it is for a short period of time!), but it won’t remedy halitosis (bad breath) forever—you’ll definitely need to have a conversation with your dentist about that. 

It can simply be an added benefit for fresh breath or an increase in oral health such as cavity, plague, and gingivitis prevention.  


While mouthwash isn’t something that’s typically a necessity, there are cosmetic and therapeutic benefits with different formulations for oral health conditions such as: 

• Tooth Decay 

• Dry Mouth

• Pain Relief 

• Gingivitis 

• Whitening 

• Dry Socket  

• Bad Breath (Halitosis) 

You can purchase cosmetic mouthwash over-the-counter—which is usually geared toward temporarily freshening your breath. 

Therapeutic mouthwash can also be purchased over-the-counter, but some may require a prescription from your dentist due to the strength and/or active ingredients.


• For mouthwash to be most effective, please use it directly after you’ve brushed and flossed—which is about twice a day unless you have orthodontics

• If bad breath is really settling in, you can definitely use it when needed for those moments, but it’s a good idea not to rely on that for chronic halitosis (bad breath). 

• Ingredients like fluoride and alcohol can be found in mouthwash at a high volume, so for mouthwash use, the recommended age is over 6.

• Please don’t ingest mouthwash; place a small amount in mouth, rinse around and spit the liquid out. 

• A recommendation of abstaining from food, beverage, and smoking for at least 30 minutes post-mouthwash use is beneficial. 

Do you need mouthwash? Maybe. 

But it typically isn’t a major requirement for a healthy mouth, unless something underlying is needed in the interim like a dry socket, pain relief, or tooth decay. 

We completely understand that some people love to have a strong hit of fresh breath to top off the clean feeling after a healthy brush and floss. 

While others really enjoy the added benefit of swishing a therapeutic mouthwash around the mouth for things like gingivitis, or an added boost of whitening for a bright smile. 

Want to find out if you need mouthwash for your oral health? 

We’d be happy to create a customized dental plan for you. 

Contact Integrity Dental in Pueblo, CO to get started.