You'll need three items to start your oral care routine: a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. If you use them correctly and consistently, you will most likely avoid many dental problems. But something gets missed rather often. Should you use mouthwash? If this is the case, should you use mouthwash? Is it essential?

Yes and no. You don't always need mouthwash as part of your oral care routine. On the other hand, those with special oral needs may find medicated rinses beneficial in alleviating their symptoms. It also aids in the reduction of harmful oral bacteria; Listerine, one of the oldest brands, began as an antiseptic for surgical wounds. So, should you still use mouthwash, and why?

People Have Used It For Centuries

Ancient cultures had long employed homemade rinses to keep their mouths clean and prevent dental pain. Mouthwash has taken many other forms before being used as an antiseptic, including Portuguese pee and tortoise blood. Even then, people worried about having bad breath and frequently looked for ways to eliminate the unpleasant smell.

It's interesting to note how this need appears to diverge from the original purpose of toothpaste and toothbrushes. We recently discussed how early toothpaste had more abrasive components to clean the teeth, but it never explicitly targeted oral bacteria and germs. Then, mouthwash became a vital addition that addressed the issues that brushing couldn't.

However, as toothpaste improved, mouthwash became less and less necessary. Older rinses would have wished for antimicrobial components in modern toothpaste. What once required a complete brush-floss-rinse just required a brush-floss. So why do we still use it?

What Are The Types Of Mouthwash?

There are two types: cosmetic and therapeutic.

  • Therapeutic mouthwashes contain active substances that treat and minimize dental caries, gum disease, plaque buildup, and foul breath. These mouthwashes contain fluoride, peroxide, chlorhexidine, essential oils, and active chemicals such as cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine. There are over-the-counter and prescription options for therapeutic mouthwash.
  • Cosmetic ones have no lasting chemical or biological benefit. These mouthwashes have the ability to reduce foul breath momentarily.

Different Types

There are many different types of rinses available right now. Some provide various objectives or advantages. For instance, using ones that are fluorine-rich can help to avoid cavities. There are also particular ones to treat and get rid of plaque or halitosis (bad breath).

Use children-specific ones when it comes to the children. Typically, these are gentler, sweeter, and contain little or no alcohol. Remember that giving young children mouthwash with high alcohol content (between 18% and 20%) might burn their gums, cheeks, and teeth. Swallowing anything can potentially result in poisoning.

Tips For Using Mouthwash

  • Do not eat anything for at least 30 minutes after rinsing your mouth. You don't want to contaminate your food with the taste of your mouthwash. Furthermore, give your mouth time to absorb the benefits of mouthwash before eating.
  • Use mouthwash to rinse after brushing and flossing. In the order of crucial oral care steps, mouthwash usually comes last. Brushing removes any food particles that may still be in your mouth hours after eating. However, brushing alone is insufficient to keep your mouth clear of food particles and plaque. Food particles may have lodged in the area between your teeth despite your toothbrush's best efforts. The solution to removing those lingering particles from your mouth is floss. Mouthwash removes any remaining debris that brushing and flossing missed.
  • Use a minimal amount. The use of excessive mouthwash, especially one containing alcohol, is not advised even if it helps prevent cavities and maintains oral health. After all, it may subject some people to excessive chemical exposure or even  tooth sensitivity.


Mouthwash contributes to maintaining clean and fresh breath. However, some individuals abuse rinses and do it thrice daily.

An article from the Dental Journal of Australia claims that using too much mouthwash may result in oral cancer because of the high alcohol content. Be aware that mouthwashes with a high alcohol content should not be used on teeth that are sensitive

In general, purchasing high-quality goods is vital. Under that heading is mouthwash. However, remember that just because you use mouthwash frequently doesn't mean it's your ideal option. Talking to your dentist about the perfect mouthwash for your particular dental health situation would be best.

History Of Mouthwash

The use of mouthwash dates back to around 2,700 B.C. in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. The first recorded references mention using mouthwash to cure gingivitis.

Mouth washing was a custom among aristocrats during the Greek and Roman eras. For example, Hippocrates, known as the "Father of Medicine," frequently advised combining salt, alum, and vinegar as a mouthwash.

The Rabbinic Judaism text, Talmud, which dates back about 1,800 years, suggests curing gum disease with dough, salt, and olive oil. Before the arrival of the Europeans, Native American and Mesoamerican communities discovered mouthwashes manufactured from plants.

In 1892, Richard Seifert released Odol, a mouthwash product. Karl August Lingner, a founder of the business from Dresden, created Odol. Chlorhexidine's capacity to stop plaque buildup was established by Harald Loe, a professor at the Royal Dental College in Denmark at the time, in the late 1960s.

The following years saw an increase in the commercial interest in mouthwash, which continually progressed. As a result, there are now 113 different mouthwash varieties in the United States alone, up from 15 in the 1970s.

That said, it is evident that mouthwash has existed in our society for a long time. Therefore, keeping this oral product in our routine makes sense, given that it has received strong endorsements from numerous groups, ethnicities, nations, and tribes.

DIY Recipes

Have you just reached into your bathroom cabinet to discover that your store-bought mouthwash bottle is empty? Or perhaps you'd like to experiment with an all-natural one for fun?

No need to worry. There are healthy and effective alternatives that you can quickly prepare at home. However, you might like these DIYs so much that you consider doing them exclusively.

Body Unburdened Recipe - While most of you won't have all the ingredients for this mouthwash recipe, it's still a handy DIY to consider. In addition, this recipe contains some of the best essential oils for healthy gums and teeth.

  • 1 ½ cups of filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon of magnesium powder, sea salt, or pink Himalayan salt (Salt halts bacterial growth, reduces inflamed gums, and heals oral cuts.)
  • 2 drops of spearmint, cinnamon, peppermint, clove, and myrrh essential oil

Shake the ingredients in a glass bottle. Use this all-natural, herbal DIY mouthwash twice daily for best results. To keep the mouthwash from spoiling, make a new batch weekly.

Bad Breath

Everyday Roots Recipe - Most people use mouthwash primarily to combat bad breath. However, store-bought mouthwashes usually cover bad breath without fighting the real problem. So, if you want fresher breath, this is the DIY mouthwash for you.

To begin with, the lemon juice in this recipe has a pleasant aroma. Cinnamon kills odorous bacteria. Baking soda, on the other hand, emits oral bacteria and aids in tooth whitening. As a bonus, honey sweetens the mouthwash and contains antibacterial properties that benefit the mouth.

  • Lemon juice of two lemons
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of honey
  • 1 cup of warm water

Before each use, shake the bottle to mix ingredients thoroughly. Then, gargle and swish 1 to 2 tablespoons for about a minute, twice a day.

Whitening And Remineralizing

Living the Nourished Life Recipe - In reality, everyone desires pearly whites. Fortunately, this whitening and remineralizing mouthwash can keep your teeth white and bright.

The calcium carbonate in this DIY allows for tooth remineralization. With the addition of stevia, you can ensure that this mouthwash has a delicious and natural-sweetening flavor that will not harm the teeth. In addition, the concentrated trace mineral liquid in this recipe aids in tooth remineralization. Finally, lemon essential oil whitens teeth, while peppermint and spearmint essential oils provide fresher breath and flavor.

  • 2 teaspoons of calcium carbonate powder
  • 10 drops of liquid stevia, concentrated trace minerals liquid, and peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops of spearmint essential oil and lemon essential oil
  • 2 cups of filtered water

Use twice daily, swishing for 30 to 60 seconds during each use. This recipe has an approximate shelf life of about two weeks.

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