How Often Should I Use Mouthwash?

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for a healthy smile and overall well-being. Brushing and flossing are undoubtedly essential, but have you ever wondered whether using mouthwash should be a part of your daily oral care routine? At Fox Point Dental, we care about your dental health and want to help you make informed decisions. So, let’s dive into the world of mouthwash and find out how often you should use it to achieve that sparkling smile!

What Type of Mouthwash Should I Use?

The first step in incorporating mouthwash into your dental routine is to choose the right type. There are different kinds of mouthwashes available, each serving a specific purpose. The most common types are:

Cosmetic Mouthwash 

This type of mouthwash aims to give you fresher breath and may provide a temporary reduction in bad breath odors. However, it does not target underlying oral health issues. Cosmetic mouthwashes often have a pleasant taste and can leave your mouth feeling refreshed after use. If you simply want to enhance your breath before a social event or after a meal, cosmetic mouthwash can be a suitable choice.

Therapeutic Mouthwash

Therapeutic mouthwashes, on the other hand, contain active ingredients that offer additional oral health benefits. These may include:

  • Fluoride: A mineral that strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent cavities.
  • Antimicrobial agents: These substances can help fight harmful bacteria in your mouth, reducing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Desensitizing agents: Ideal for those with sensitive teeth, these mouthwashes can help alleviate discomfort due to hot or cold foods and beverages.
  • Anti-plaque or anti-gingivitis agents: Targeting plaque and gingivitis-causing bacteria, these mouthwashes can assist in maintaining healthy gums and preventing gum disease.

*Always steer clear of any mouthwash that contains alcohol, chlorhexidine, or hydrogen peroxide as they can potentially harm your oral microbiome which is a crucial factor in your oral health.

When Should You Use Mouthwash?

The timing of mouthwash use can also play a role in its effectiveness. While you might be tempted to use it immediately after brushing, it’s better to wait for a bit. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash at a different time of day, such as after lunch or in the afternoon. This way, you can target bacteria and plaque that might have built up throughout the day.

Moreover, using mouthwash right after brushing may wash away the concentrated fluoride from your toothpaste, reducing its benefits. To make the most of your mouthwash, try these steps:

  1. Brush and Floss First: Start by brushing your teeth thoroughly with fluoride toothpaste and flossing to remove food particles and plaque.
  2. Swish and Rinse: Take a small amount of mouthwash and swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds to one minute. Make sure to reach all areas of your mouth, including the back of your tongue and your gum line.
  3. Avoid Eating or Drinking: Refrain from eating or drinking anything for at least 30 minutes after using mouthwash to allow the active ingredients to work effectively.

How Often Should I Use Mouthwash?

Now comes the crucial question: how often should you use mouthwash? The answer may depend on the type you have chosen and your specific oral health needs. Let’s break it down:

Cosmetic Mouthwash

If you’re using cosmetic mouthwash, it’s generally safe to use it daily. However, keep in mind that this type of mouthwash primarily masks bad breath without addressing the root cause. It’s not a substitute for brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.

Therapeutic Mouthwash

Therapeutic mouthwashes contain active ingredients that require specific usage guidelines. Some mouthwashes are designed for daily use, while others may be recommended for a limited period. Follow the instructions provided on the product label or, even better, consult your dentist at Fox Point Dental for personalized advice.

Our FAVORITE mouthwash right now is from RiseWell Balancing Mouthwash.  Promo Code DRLIZ10 for 10% off, or swing by the office to not have to pay shipping! We recommend you FLOSS, RINSE, BRUSH.


  • Alcohol-free, vegan, gluten free and cruelty free
  • Powered by Xylitol to destroy the bad bacteria in your mouth while maintaining the good for a healthy, balanced oral microbiome.
  • 100% safe with proven, effective ingredients.
  • No harmful chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), propylene Glycol, artificial flavors, dyes or teflon.
  • Naturally flavored with beneficial essential oils
  • Transparent ingredients with no “natural flavoring” hiding

Choosing the right type of mouthwash and using it at the right time can maximize its benefits. Remember, mouthwash is not a replacement for brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups. Combining all these elements will ensure that your smile remains bright, healthy, and confident.


Schedule a dental appointment with Fox Point Dental today! Whether you’re in Lakewood, CO, or prefer a virtual appointment, our team of friendly and knowledgeable dental professionals is here to provide top-notch care and guidance tailored to your needs. Don’t wait—take the first step toward better oral health now! Your smile will thank you.

About the Author

Dr. Elizabeth Turner is a whole-health, family dentist in Lakewood, CO who provides general, restorative, and cosmetic dental care. She focuses on the mouth-body connection and helps her patients smile confidently, breathe clearer, and live healthier lives. 

Recent Posts

What does a cavity look like

What Does a Cavity Look Like When It First Starts?

Read More
How to Maintain Your Bright Smile

How to Maintain Your Bright Smile After Teeth Whitening: Dos and Don’ts

Read More
Ultrasonic Dental Cleaning Elevate Your Oral Health

The Ultrasonic Dental Cleaning Revolution: Elevate Your Oral Health with Fox Point Dental

Read More

Are you ready to smile more, breathe freely, and live better?