Mouthwash: Definition, How to use Mouthwash, What is Halitosis? And How to deal with Bad Breath

mouthwash and halitosis definition

Mouthwash is a liquid that people often use to refreshen the breath and prevent both dental and bacterial issues.


Keeping good oral hygiene helps us to protect the health of both teeth and gums by reducing the growth of harmful bacteria and halting the development of tooth plaque.

A widely known way to keep one’s mouth clean and free of disease is Tooth Brushing. It is essential for people’s oral hygiene to have them applying proper brushing techniques on teeth, gums, and even tongue.

However, Tooth Brushing is not always enough to keep the mouth healthy. That is why some recommend complementing the oral care routine with the regular use of Mouthwash.

Mouthwash is an antiseptic liquid meant for people to use after brushing their teeth.

The primary functions of mouthwash are freshening the breath and eliminating bacteria as well as other microorganisms that could cause dental caries and other conditions.

The reason why oral rinses are so helpful is due to most of them containing cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), a highly efficient germ-fighting ingredient.

This liquid is essential to keep good oral hygiene because it reaches those places in the mouth that tooth brushing can’t reach, thus completing the clean-up that gel dentifrice started.

How to use Mouthwash

The typical way to apply oral rinse is by passively holding the liquid within the mouth or swilling it around inside.

Several people tend to rinse with the mouthwash in their mouths while tilting their heads back.

By correctly using mouthwash anyone can prevent dental caries and diseases like gingivitis. People need to follow just a few simple steps:

Choosing a mouthwash

Several types of mouth rinses exist, with a wide variety of compositions, for different cases and purposes.

Cosmetic Mouthwash is meant to mask or hide bad smelling breath while having a refreshing effect in the mouth. It makes the user’s breathing to feel and smell better.

Some people use it after eating a meal that held a strong scent, such as garlic-based dishes.

Antimicrobial Mouthwash is a therapeutic oral rinse. Its purpose is to clean and sanitize the mouth, which helps to reduce dental plaque and fight off gingivitis by eliminating the bacteria that causes the disease.

Fluoride Mouthwash which reduces the lesions that could advance the development of dental caries. People need to mix the use of oral rinse with prior tooth brushing.

Herbal Mouthwash, more often than not, is a custom-made oral rinse. Some people prefer to avoid chemical products, so they use herbs that improve oral hygiene to make a mouthwash of their own.

Some of such herbs are clove, mint, and rosemary. They have antibacterial, antiseptic, and refreshing properties.

Proper application

Pour 20ml in a small cup. That should be enough to clean your mouth in one dose. Sometimes, for those who are using Fluoride Mouthwash, 10ml will suffice.

However, some oral rinses already come with instructions printed on their labels.

Take that portion without swallowing. Wash your mouth for about 30 seconds up to one minute. Make sure the liquid gets to wash your teeth and molars, as well as the area under your tongue.

Then, spit it out. Depending on the type of mouthwash used, people might need to wait half an hour before drinking water or eating something, just to ensure the efficiency of the oral rinse.

When to use it

The American Dental Association (ADA) stated that people might use Mouthwash either before or after Tooth Brushing. What truly matters is choosing a high-quality oral rinse.

Some even use it to refreshen their breath anytime they need it. People can easily carry around a little bottle of mouthwash to use it after every food.

However, mouthwash is not a substitute for Tooth Brushing and Dental Floss. Oral rinses are just a supplement to mouth clean-up, not a replacement.

Make sure to keep brushing your teeth and, if a medical expert recommends it, using dental floss.

Do not hesitate to ask your dentist more about this subject. That is even more crucial in cases of gingivitis, dental caries, and other similar conditions.

What is Halitosis?

It is a combination of unpleasant odors coming from the mouth. Most people call it “bad breath.”

Most of the cases occur because of an accumulation of oral “biofilm” coating the tongue.

This “biofilm” looks like white stuff on the tongue; it is a layer made of dead skin cells, dead blood cells, carbohydrates, sugars, and other oral debris.

Many harmful bacteria and other potentially infectious agents could develop under that layer of biofilm. And when these bacteria along other oral debris decompose, and that produces “bad breath.”

In other cases, the cause halitosis is dental caries, the habit of smoking, or poor oral hygiene.

How to deal with Bad Breath

There are several ways to combat Halitosis. Still, people tend to believe that mouthwash is the ideal treatment to get rid of bad breath.

It’s true that some oral rinses such as the Cosmetic Mouthwash can mask the smell, and others like the Antimicrobial Mouthwash can eliminate some bacteria from the mouth.

However, while these antiseptic products are useful for oral hygiene, they don’t do much to get rid of the environment that allows those microorganisms to grow. First, we need something else.

To treat and cure Halitosis people need, first of all, proper tongue cleaning to eliminate the biofilm that’s helping the bacteria to develop.

You should use a flat, angled scraper and place the fan-shaped cleaning edge on the back of your tongue. Then hold the Tongue Cleaner firmly again the tongue and pull it forward over and over again.

Once we get rid of the oral biofilm, we deal with the bacteria by using alcohol-free Antimicrobial Mouthwash.

Look for an oral rinse containing Molecular Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2) for this last step to neutralize nearly all bacteria that could cause bad breath.