Should I Use Mouthwash?

For many people, a good oral hygiene routine usually includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash.  However, mouthwashes have been the subject of quite a bit of controversy, and the jury may still be out on whether they should be part of your morning routine. So, what do dentists and oral surgeons have to say about it? Let’s find out.

Do Oral Surgeons Recommend Mouthwash?

The answer is not that simple, and it turns out that it depends on factors including age, the reason for mouthwash, and what type you use. Let’s look at each of these individually.


Children under the age of six should not use mouthwash, ever. Especially if the mouthwash contains alcohol. They are more likely to swallow the rinse or mouthwash, which could prove harmful to their overall health.

Type of Mouthwash

There are five different kinds of mouthwashes:

  • Desensitizing wash
  • Cosmetic wash
  • Anti-plaque wash
  • Fluoride rinse
  • Teeth whitening wash

These different types of rinses are designed to solve specific dental concerns. Your oral surgeon or dentist at Hill Country Oral Surgery may recommend one of these products or offer other options for a better solution. For example, if you wish to whiten your teeth, teeth whitening rinses can reduce some dental stains over time. However, in-office dental bleaching is much faster and more effective.

Suppose you experience bad breath and want a cosmetic wash. In that case, a dental professional may recommend treating the root of the problem. Also, your dentist may advise a homemade saltwater rinse to treat the problem of canker sores or mouth ulcers.

Your Needs

If you have cavities or a high risk of gum diseases, your dental professional may recommend an antibacterial mouth rinse. Fluoride rinses help ward off tooth decay. Dentists advise pregnant women to employ an antibacterial or anti-plaque rinse to reduce the risk of early labor.

Never confuse oral rinses with proper dental care. Although a cosmetic rinse may have your mouth feeling fresh and clean, it does not fight bacteria which causes bad breath. Always ask your dentist or oral surgeon which mouthwash is best suited for you.

When Should You Use Mouthwash?

Using mouthwash does not always have a large impact on your oral health. But here are some critical reasons your oral surgeon may recommend one:

  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Cavities
  • Bacterial decay
  • Periodontitis


Nobody knows your teeth better than your oral surgeon or dentist at Hill Country Oral Surgery. If you want to start using mouthwash, it is better to ask them first. Oral hygiene is most affected by brushing, flossing, and periodic cleanings and checkups.

Need More Information?

Call our Austin oral surgery office at 512-327-7233 to request a consultation.