Should You Use Mouthwash Before or After Brushing Your Teeth?

By Ashley Ess in Natural Products

You may be curious about adding an oral rinse to boost your overall mouth health, but should you use mouthwash before or after brushing your teeth? In order to answer that question, let's first go over what mouthwash is and what it isn't.

What Does Mouthwash Do?

As a whole mouth rinse, mouthwash is best known as a breath freshener. But, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), mouthwash with therapeutic properties can also protect against cavities, fight plaque, and control gingivitis. However, despite these oral health benefits, mouthwash isn't a replacement for brushing or flossing—rather, it serves as a great complement to your daily oral care routine.

Common Mouthwash Ingredients

Mouthwashes contain various ingredients that serve specific oral hygiene benefits. These can include fluoride, peroxide, and essential oils, which target teeth- or gum-related concerns.

Whether you use an over-the-counter therapeutic mouthwash or a cosmetic one that makes your mouth feel sparkling fresh, using a mouthwash with naturally derived ingredients helps to ensure that you're keeping your mouth healthy while caring for the earth.

Should You Use Mouthwash Before or After Brushing Your Teeth?

Generally, for non-prescription varieties, the choice is yours if you'd like to use mouthwash before or after brushing, according to the ADA. It's most common to rinse with mouthwash after you brush and floss your teeth. But using mouthwash before brushing can actually help loosen food particles and plaque. This allows your toothbrush to access hard-to-reach areas between teeth a little better.

Be sure to read the label's instructions first or follow your dentist's recommendation when using mouthwash. Most mouthwashes come with measurement indicators in their caps, so you'll know how much to use. Swish the instructed amount around your mouth for 30 seconds, taking care not to swallow any. Avoid rinsing your mouth out with water afterward as this can reduce the effectiveness of any active ingredients.

Tom's of Maine Mouthwash

Learn more tips about using natural oral care products on the @tomsofmaine Naturally Good Products Pinterest board!

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Why It's Good

Whether you choose to rinse with mouthwash before or after brushing and flossing, it can be a beneficial addition to your oral care routine. Using an effective mouthwash formula with naturally derived ingredients can also help to provide peace of mind for both you and the planet.