How Often Should Mouthwash Be Used?

by | Aug 25, 2022 | General Orthodontics, Oral Health | 0 comments

6 min reading time

You may or may not use it, but you have almost certainly heard about mouthwash. However, do you know how to use this oral cleaning tool properly? Believe it or not, you can actually overuse oral rinse and cause the very oral issues you may be trying to improve! Keep reading to learn the proper methods to utilize your oral rinse and receive the best minty benefits. 

What is Mouthwash?

Mouthwash is a liquid used to rinse your teeth, gums, and mouth. The antiseptic contained in mouthwash kills bacteria that may live between your teeth or on your tongue. While mouthwash is not a replacement for brushing or flossing, it can be a helpful tool for increased oral health.

What are the Benefits of Mouthwash?

Mouthwash has a few different benefits. You can use it to kill harmful bacteria or mask bad breath. By killing bacteria, oral rinse can prevent cavities, reduce plaque, and freshen the breath. Mouthwash can also fight tooth decay and gum disease. 

Some specialty mouthwashes are available by prescription from your dentist. Prescription mouthwash can be used after dental surgery if you suffer from sensitivity or have a dry mouth

Is It Good to Use Mouthwash Every Day?

Whether or not it is harmful to use mouthwash daily depends on the brand. If the instructions attached to your rinse encourage everyday use, then it is perfectly safe to do so. However, do not use mouthwashes more often than instructed, as it may do more harm than good. That said, you can use most mouthwashes twice a day alongside your typical oral hygiene routine. 

How to Properly Use Mouthwash

Each mouthwash brand will have different directions written on the bottle. Be sure to follow the package instructions for your specific mouthwash before using it for your oral hygiene. However, there are some basic instructions that you can use for most brands. 

You should start your daily oral hygiene routine by thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth. If you use fluoride toothpaste, wait a bit before using your mouthwash, as it can wash away the concentrated fluoride. For best results, you should use mouthwash only after your teeth are freshly cleaned. 

Next, use the provided cup or a plastic measuring cup for your oral rinse. Only use as much mouthwash as the product instructs, typically between 3 and 5 teaspoons.   

Empty the contents of the cup into your mouth and swish it around. Do not swallow the rinse as it is not meant for ingestion. Gargle for about 30 seconds during the rinsing process.  

Finally, spit the mouthwash into the sink and enjoy the minty fresh breath of oral hygiene success! 

Unlike brushing your teeth, there are no specific rules to using mouthwash for stinky breath. But, if you are using it to strengthen your tooth enamel, fight periodontal disease, prevent tooth decay, or reduce dental plaque, then your mouthwash will not work properly unless you use it right after brushing and flossing your teeth. 

How Often Should I Use Mouthwash?

Some people use mouthwash daily along with their typical teeth-cleaning routine. However, you can also use a quick rinse to solve a bout of bad breath. 

Most mouthwash products recommend rinsing no more than twice per day after brushing and flossing. Do not use an oral rinse if you have open-mouth sores. You can harm your oral health if you douse oral sores with fluoride and antiseptics. Don’t use your oral rinse more often than instructed. 

Can I Use Too Much Mouthwash?

Using too much oral rinse or using it several times a day will cause more harm than good. Especially when using an alcohol-based mouthwash brand, overuse can irritate the soft tissues of the mouth and lead to dry mouth. A dry mouth may result in further problems you are trying to avoid, such as bad breath and cavity development. Even alcohol-free mouthwash can have unwanted side effects such as tooth staining when used too frequently. Please make sure you talk with your dentists about your mouthwash and get recommendations on how often to use it. 

Which is the Best Mouthwash?

The best mouthwash will depend on your specific wants, needs, and oral health. You may choose either an alcohol-based option or a non-alcohol-based product. There are other options if you do not wish to have artificial coloring in your oral rinse. Regardless of your choice, always go with an antibacterial mouthwash that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

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Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if you are ready to learn more about mouthwashes and how they can help you achieve your best smile. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of using one brand of mouthwash compared to other mouthwash options or simply have questions about the best option for you, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or send us a message through our Contact Us page to connect with our friendly staff today to book a free consultation! Our office, located at 19465 Deerfield Ave, Suite 304, Leesburg, VA 20176, proudly serves not just Loudoun County but also the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Purcellville, Broadlands, or Brambleton, and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in VA, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health as well as follow us on social media to become a part of our smiling community!



  1. Watson, Kathryn. “How to Use Mouthwash Safely and Properly: What You Need to Know.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 25 Nov. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/how-to-use-mouthwash#using-mouthwash. Accessed 24 Aug. 2022.

  2. “Mouthrinse (Mouthwash).” American Dental Association, www.ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/mouthrinse-mouthwash. Accessed 24 Aug. 2022.