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Do You Really Need to Use Mouthwash?

A person pours mouthwash into a cup.
Orawan Pattarawimonchai/Shutterstock.com

When you think of an oral hygiene routine, you probably think of brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. Obviously, you need to brush and floss your teeth, but is mouthwash really necessary?

While it might be shocking to hear, mouthwash isn’t a must-do step if you have healthy teeth and gums.

Those who have a quality oral health routine that includes brushing for two minutes, twice a day and flossing once per day shouldn’t require mouthwash. You should, of course, check with your dentist, but in general, it’s not a requirement. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it. There are added benefits to mouthwash that can help your teeth and gums.

Mouthwashes can do everything from freshening breath to preventing tooth decay and reducing gum inflammation. If you want to take preventative measures, yes, mouthwash is still a good idea. Even the American Dental Association calls it an “additional benefit” to your oral care routine and notes that it doesn’t take the place of brushing and flossing.

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Keep all your oral hygeine items organized.

If you’re looking to incorporate a mouthwash, look for options that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance and check in with your dentist regarding what preventative measures or treatments could benefit your teeth and gums.

Also, be sure to do your oral care routine in the correct order. Mouthwash should actually be your first step as it can rinse any built-up bacteria from sleep, and when used in the evening, it can free any trapped particles. However, this recommendation isn’t set in stone. The American Dental Association says it can also be used after brushing and flossing. Basically, don’t rinse in the middle of your routine.

If you want to cut down your morning routine by skipping mouthwash, go for it.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Editor In Chief of LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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