Home  Dentistry Articles  Mouthwash

Mouthwash

Antiseptic mouth rinse, often called mouthwash, is an oral hygiene product that claims to kill the germs that cause plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath. The common mouthwash, Listerine, was named after the person responsible for inventing antiseptic medical procedures, Joseph Lister. It is used by people interested in good oral health, protecting themselves from bad breath causing bacteria. It often comes in a mint, cinnamon or clove flavor.

Proper use involves rinsing one's mouth with usualy 20 milliliters of antiseptic mouth rinse two times a day after brushing. One then spits out the mouthwash and rinses the mouth with water.

Active ingredients can include thymol, eucalyptol, methyl salicylate, menthol, chlorhexidine gluconate, hydrogen peroxide and sometimes enzymes. Ingredients also include water, and a significant amount of alcohol (around 20%). Because of the alcohol conent, it is possible to fail a breath analyzer test after rinsing one's mouth.

Bacteria often become resistant to active ingredients in the mouthwash, lessening its effectiveness.