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Does Your Mouthwash Multitask?

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications


You brush. You floss. You swish. Good for you! Nobody wants garlic pasta sauce from lunch to linger on their breath.

But you could be taking your swishes up a notch. Did you know that the best mouthwash for bad breath control also keeps your teeth healthy?

Next time you gargle to freshen your breath, be glad that your mouthwash multitasks. But what should a mouthrinse contain and how does it benefit your overall oral health?

Who’s to blame? Micro-villains!

Beware the little guys: tiny microorganisms in your mouth can cause bad breath. Regardless of whether germs or fungi are to blame for the halitosis, antimicrobial agents work to kill and slow the growth of these microorganisms.

In addition to keeping your breath fresh, mouthrinse containing antimicrobial agents works to reduce a buildup of unsightly plaque on your teeth. It also helps to counteract gingivitis, or gum disease.

Swish and spit with mouthrinse after brushing your teeth or whenever you want to freshen your breath.

30 seconds to blast-off!

Although fluoride is added to toothpaste, a little extra exposure to this essential compound is beneficial. Fluoride protects the teeth from decay. This active ingredient also prevents the tooth enamel from white spot lesions that may eventually lead to tooth decay.

Children over the age of 6 and adults should use the mouthrinse according to label directions each time they rinse their mouths. Holding the mouthrinse in your mouth and swishing it around your teeth for 30 seconds or longer helps the fluoride reach the crevices between each tooth.

That’s fine for you, but how do you get your kids to gargle for a full half-minute? Two words: get rhythmic. Have them hum a favorite song, such as two rounds of "Jingle Bells," while swishing. You can even make it into a game. To win, the little ones aren’t allowed to spit until the song has ended.

And what should you be gargling while you’re jingling bells? If you want to be sure to protect your teeth against bad breath, plaque and gingivitis, try Colgate Plax Mouthwash. The alcohol-free formula is gentle and protects the mouth from germs for 12 hours, even when eating and drinking.

The daily gargle

Make your routine more liquid: use mouthwash each morning and evening after brushing your teeth. Mouthwashes can also be used before or after flossing.

Brushing, using mouthwash and flossing is the best way to remove odor-causing germs. When you're shopping for oral care products, take a moment to peek at labels. Look for those key ingredients not only to keep your breath fresh, but to ensure a healthy future for your teeth.

Original content by Angela Tague