Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

Mouthwash, mouth rinse, oral rinse or mouth bath, is a liquid which is held in the mouth passively or swilled around the mouth by contraction of the perioral muscles and/or movement of the head, and may be gargled, where the head is tilted back and the liquid bubbled at the back of the mouth. Usually mouthwashes are an antiseptic solution intended to reduce the microbial load in the oral cavity, although other mouthwashes might be given for other reasons such as for their analgesic, anti-inflammatory or anti-fungal action. The most common use of mouthwash is commercial antiseptics which are used at home as part of an oral hygiene routine. Some manufacturers of mouthwash state that antiseptic and anti-plaque mouth rinse kill the bacterial plaque which causes cavities, gingivitis, and bad breath. Anti-cavity mouth rinse uses fluoride to protect against tooth decay. It is, however, generally agreed that the use of mouthwash does not eliminate the need for both brushing and flossing. The American Dental Association asserts that regular brushing and proper flossing are enough in most cases, although they approve many mouthwashes that do not contain ethanol (in addition to regular dental check-ups). For many patients, however, the mechanical methods could be tedious and time-consuming and additionally some local conditions may render them especially difficult. Chemotherapeutic agents, including mouthrinses, could have a key role as adjuncts to daily home care, preventing and controlling supragingival plaque, gingivitis and oral malodor. Another common use of mouthwash is prior to and after oral surgery procedures such as tooth extraction. The number of mouthwash variants in the U.S. has grown from 15 (1970) to 66 (1998) to 113 (2012).