Mouthwash: What it Does and When to Use it

If your oral care routine had a backstage crew, mouthwash would undoubtedly be the stage manager – unassuming yet critical. It’s often misunderstood and sometimes undervalued. With the oral health experts at Birch Point Dental Clinic in Thunder Bay, ON, led by Dr. Sanket Upadhyay, we’re shedding light on this rinse and its significant benefits.

Mouthwash: Beyond the Fresh Breath

At its core, mouthwash offers more than just a refreshing sensation post-rinse. When chosen wisely and used correctly, it can elevate your oral care game.

1. Types of Mouthwash

  • Fluoride Rinses: These are geared towards strengthening the enamel, making it resistant to decay and cavities.
  • Antiseptic Rinses: Packing a punch against bacteria, they help in reducing bad breath, gingivitis, and plaque.
  • Cosmetic Rinses: These primarily focus on masking bad breath and leave a pleasant taste in the mouth.
  • Natural Mouthwashes: Made from natural ingredients, they offer a holistic approach to oral care without the addition of alcohol or chemicals.

2. Benefits of Using Mouthwash

  • Tackles Hard-to-Reach Areas: Even the most diligent brushers and flossers can miss spots. Mouthwash reaches corners that might otherwise remain untouched.
  • Reduces Acid in the Mouth: By balancing the pH levels, mouthwash can prevent an acidic environment which is conducive to tooth decay.
  • Supplements Oral Care: Mouthwash can provide added protection against harmful bacteria when used in conjunction with regular brushing and flossing.

3. The Ideal Time to Rinse

There’s often debate on the perfect time to use mouthwash. While it’s valuable at any time of the day for freshening up, it’s most effective when used after brushing and flossing. This ensures that it can access all areas of the mouth without barriers.

4. A Word of Caution

Like all oral care products, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Here are some things to consider:

  • Alcohol Content: Some mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can cause a burning sensation. If you have a sensitive mouth or are prone to dryness, consider an alcohol-free option.
  • Not a Replacement: Mouthwash should complement brushing and flossing, not replace it. It’s an addition to, not a substitute for, your oral hygiene routine.
  • Age Factor: Mouthwashes with high fluoride content or alcohol are not recommended for young children, as they might swallow it accidentally.

5. Personalized Recommendations are Key

Dr. Sanket Upadhyay emphasizes, “Understanding your oral health needs is paramount. Not every mouthwash will be right for everyone. Whether you’re battling gum issues, looking to prevent cavities, or seeking fresher breath, there’s a specific rinse out there for you.”

At Birch Point Dental Clinic, we recommend that our Thunder Bay community not choose mouthwash based solely on advertisements or word of mouth. Instead, a quick discussion with your dentist can guide you to a product tailored to your needs.

Unlocking Optimal Oral Health with Birch Point Dental

Mouthwash, when used correctly, can be a game-changer in your oral hygiene routine. However, achieving optimal oral health involves a balanced combination of the right tools, techniques, and expert guidance. That’s where we come in. At Birch Point Dental Clinic in Thunder Bay, Dr. Sanket Upadhyay and his dedicated team are always ready to guide you on your dental health journey. Are you eager to enhance your oral care regimen? Get in touch with us today at (807) 698-8838.


  1. American Dental Association. “Mouthwash.” ADA.org.
  2. Colgate. “Types of Mouthwash: What’s Right For You?” Colgate.com.
  3. WebMD. “Mouthwash: Benefits, Risks, Types, and More.” WebMD.com.

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Dr. Sanket Upadhyay


Dr. Sanket completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) degree in India in 2011 and obtained his Canadian dental license in 2016. He is a member in good standing with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, the Ontario Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Sanket regularly pursues continuing education through dental conferences and courses to enhance his knowledge and be at the forefront of advances in dentistry.

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