The Surprising Reasons to Include Mouthwash in Your Dental Regimen

Maintaining good oral hygiene is an essential part of overall health

Along with brushing and flossing, mouthwashing or mouth rinsing should also be a part of your oral care routine. 1
Mouthwashing helps reach areas that are not easily reachable by a toothbrush.1
Remember that mouthwashing is not a substitute for daily brushing and flossing.1

How to choose your mouthwash?
Use cosmetic mouthwashes: if you need temporary relief from bad breath and want to experience a pleasant taste in your mouth.1
Use therapeutic mouthwashes: if you have oral problems like bad breath, gingivitis, plaque, and tooth decay.1

  • Depending on the formulation, therapeutic mouthwashes can be obtained over the counter or through a prescription.1
  • Use prescription mouthwashes as directed.

If you are undergoing any dental procedures, remember-

Before Procedure-

  • Use Povidone Iodine mouth rinse before any dental procedure as it decontaminates the mouth and reduces the risk of pathogen transmission.3
  • If you have viral infections, use 10 mL of 0.5% PVP-I oral wash every 2 to 3 hours up to 4 times per day.3
  • Sip and spread Povidone Iodine mouthwash into your mouth for 30 seconds, followed by gargling for 30 seconds in the throat and spit.3

After procedure-

  • Do not spit the saliva. Rather, swallow it after minor dental surgeries.4
  • Apply cold (ice pack) during the first 24 hours of your dental procedure to help reduce inflammation and discomfort.4
  • Do not try to force open the mouth after the dental procedure.4
  • Eat a soft diet and  chew on the opposite side for the first few days after any dental treatment.4
  • Drink plenty of fluids to maintain hydration and avoid hot and irritating foods.
  • Take medicines regularly according to the dentist's recommendations.4
  • One day after any dental surgery or minor procedures, for 15 days, use mouthwash, preferably PVP-I, due to its antimicrobial action.4
  • Maintain proper oral hygiene and brush your teeth as usual.4
  • Do not smoke or consume alcohol for at least seven days after the procedure.4


    1. ADA[Internet]Mouthrinse (Mouthwash). Updated on: December 1, 2021; Cited on October 17, 2023. Available from:
    2. ida[Internet]Mouthwashes. Cited on October 17, 2023. Available from:                                                                                           
    3. Imran E, Khurshid Z, M. Al Qadhi AA. et al. Preprocedural Use of Povidone-Iodine Mouthwash during Dental Procedures in the COVID-19 Pandemic. Eur J Dent:2020;14(suppl S1):S182–S184
    4. Alvira-González J, Gay-Escoda C. Compliance of postoperative instruc- Compliance of postoperative instruc- Compliance of postoperative instructions following the surgical extraction of impacted lower third molars: A randomized clinical trial. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2015;20 (2):e224-30


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