How Does Mouthwash Work? A Dentist Explains

Mouthwash, also known as oral rinse, is a dental product that generally works by killing germs and harmful bacteria in your mouth, leaving you with clean and fresh breath.

Although mouthwash is not a replacement for regular brushing and flossing, using certain types of mouthwash twice a day every day can provide:
  • bacterial control
  • fresh breath
  • plaque prevention
  • gingivitis prevention
  • and convenience!

Adding an alkaline mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine helps keep your mouth clean by getting into the hard-to-reach places that your toothbrush and dental floss might miss.

The best mouthwashes avoid alcohol (ethanol), which can cause a burning sensation and sensitivity.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how mouthwash works.

What is mouthwash?

A jar of SWISH Mouthwash
Mouthwash is a liquid dental product that can enhance the effectiveness of daily brushing and flossing, promoting a healthier oral environment.

Some mouthwashes contain antiseptic or antimicrobial agents to promote cleaner, fresher breath, and overall dental health by:
  • reducing plaque buildup
  • reducing risk for gingivitis and other gum disease
  • dislodging food and odor-causing bacteria from hard-to-reach places
  • and fighting tooth decay
Studies suggest that both mouthwashes with and without alcohol work equally well at killing bacteria.

So, choosing a mouthwash that's alcohol-free is both effective and a more suitable option for children, pregnant women, and those with sensitive mouth tissue.

For those who want to try a mild and gentle experience with mouthwash, consider using SWISH Mouthwash which has a natural formulation.

What are the types of mouthwash?

SWISH Mouthwash and Regular Mouthwash pointing by a Person

Not all mouthwashes are created equal.

While it may seem simple as selecting a mouthwash with your favorite flavor, there can be more to mouthwashes than meets the eye.

In fact, mouthwashes are typically classified as cosmetic or therapeutic mouthwash based on their ingredients and ability to fight tooth decay, though there are some other key categories as well:
  • Cosmetic Mouthwash: designed for a temporary breath freshening and pleasant taste; lacks germ-killing agents, so its refreshing effect is short-lived
  • Therapeutic Mouthwashes: address specific dental concerns such as gingivitis, plaque buildup, and overall gum health thanks to germ-killing agents combat harmful bacteria and promote a longer-lasting refreshing effect
  • Fluoride Mouthwash: aids in remineralization, strengthening tooth enamel, and may fight early signs of tooth decay

There you have it—choose the right mouthwash that aligns with your preferences and oral health condition. It's your key to fresh breath and a healthy mouth!

How to Use Mouthwash

How mouthwash use

For best results, use mouthwash after fluoride-free toothpaste and string floss:

Step 1: Pick up some SWISH Mouthwash and give it a gentle shake
Step 2: Dispense about 20mL in your mouth and gargle for about 30 seconds
Step 3: Spit it out, no need to rinse

That's it. Simple, right?

While some people prefer use mouthwash first, we always recommend using mouthwash after brushing.

The Benefits of Mouthwash

A lady holding SWISH Mouthwash

You may have heard that mouthwash is great for oral health, but you're probably wondering what mouthwash does exactly, right?

Depending on the type of mouthwash, some of the benefits of mouthwash include:
  1. Killing Harmful Bacteria: mouthwash helps eliminate harmful bacteria in the mouth, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.

  2. Freshening Breath: mouthwash combats bad breath (halitosis), leaving your mouth feeling clean and refreshed.

  3. Plaque Reduction: antimicrobial mouthwashes contribute to the reduction of plaque buildup for healthier gums and teeth.

  4. Gingivitis Prevention: studies show regular use may help prevent gingivitis, promoting overall gum health.
Further, some formulations may provide relief for dry mouth (xerostomia) conditions, promoting saliva production.

Potential Risks of Using Mouthwash

While mouthwash is good for our dental health, excessive use can disrupt the balance of healthy bacteria in your mouth.

It's best to stick with the recommended usage of 1-2 times per day after using nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste and flossing.

Plus, using alcohol-based mouthwash has various potential risks, including:
  • dry mouth
  • irritation
  • a burning sensation
Given these considerations, it's essential to strike a balance and use mouthwash as a complementary part of your overall dental care routine.

Is mouthwash safe for everyone?

A man holding SWISH Mouthwash

Generally, mouthwash is safe for most people if used as directed.

As we're talking about safety, we should note that SWISH Mouthwash is designed to be safe to swallow (however, you should still try to spit it out after gargling!).

Since alcohol and alcohol-free mouthwashes have equal efficacy, many dentists recommend alcohol-free mouthwash to avoid that burning sensation and irritation in your mouth.

For a stress-free oral health routine, be smart when choosing mouthwashes for you and your family!

Summary: How Mouthwash Works

SWISH Mouthwash

Mouthwash works by removing harmful bacteria from the hard-to-reach places in your mouth and freshening your breath with mint and other herbal extracts.

Since dentists suggest that alcohol-free mouthwash may come with less side effects than alcohol-based mouthwash, consider picking up some SWISH Mouthwash—a natural formulation designed to enhance your oral hygiene routine.

In conclusion, our advice is simple: swish wisely, align your product choice with your oral health goals, and keep that smile bright and healthy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly does mouthwash do?

Mouthwash, or mouth rinse, primarily works by killing bacteria in your mouth, resulting in cleaner and fresher breath.

Is mouthwash a substitute for regular brushing and flossing?

No, mouthwash is not a substitute for regular brushing and flossing. While mouthwash is beneficial, it should be used as a complement to, not a replacement for, regular brushing and flossing.

How often should I use mouthwash?

For best results, you can use mouthwash once or twice daily. This practice can provide benefits like bacterial control, fresh breath, plaque prevention, and gingivitis prevention.

Why do some mouthwashes avoid alcohol?
Some mouthwashes avoid alcohol as alcohol can cause a burning sensation and sensitivity. Thus, many dentists suggest using mouthwashes without alcohol for similar benefits with fewer side effects.

What benefits can I expect from using mouthwash?
Mouthwash benefits include killing harmful bacteria, freshening breath, reducing plaque, and preventing gingivitis. For best results, use mouthwash once or twice daily as part of your regular oral care routine alongside brushing and flossing.

Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash
Swish Mouthwash

Swish Mouthwash

Regular price$20
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Immerse yourself in the revitalizing freshness of our latest formulation, Swish. A testament to biöm's unwavering commitment to holistic health and well-being. Harnessing the potent benefits of mother nature, our mouthwash combines science and nature's bounty to deliver a unique solution for impeccable oral hygiene and lasting fresh breath.

Bottled at 16 fl oz, our herbal mouthwash formula takes the best of what nature has to offer:

Neem and Licorice Extracts: Used for centuries in traditional medicine, these power-packed botanicals promote oral health by combating harmful bacteria and providing natural anti-inflammatory benefits.

Spearmint and Peppermint Essential Oils: Long-lasting freshness is no longer a dream. These cooling natural oils ensure you'll enjoy a pleasant, long-lasting minty freshness that truly invigorates.

Xylitol and Stevia: We've incorporated these natural sweeteners to provide an enjoyable, refreshing taste without any guilt – they actually help in maintaining a healthy pH balance in your mouth!

Aloe Vera Juice: Say goodbye to the harsh, drying effect of traditional mouthwashes. Our formula includes these natural moisturizing agents for a comfortable rinse that leaves your mouth feeling hydrated.

Not just that, our formula is as kind to the Earth as it is to your mouth:

❖ Free from harsh chemicals and artificial preservatives

❖ Cruelty-free and vegan

❖ Eco-friendly packaging


Shake well before use. Swish approximately one tablespoon of mouthwash in your mouth for about 30 seconds, then spit it out.

Experience the biöm difference today – because your oral health is a reflection of your overall wellness.