How-to: mouthwash like a pro

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Ok, I admit it. Until recently I was a mouthwash non-believer. To me, swirling a strange blue solution in my mouth seemed unnecessary and ridiculous, especially considering I was already a vigilant tooth-brusher. But then I got up one day to brush my teeth and there it was, staring at me in the mirror: gingivitis.
Otherwise known as gum disease, gingivitis is an extremely unpleasant condition resulting in sore, unsightly, bleeding gums. Though brushing your gums can help to prevent it, mouthwash can reach many spots that your toothbrush just can’t get to – including the places where gum disease bacteria most like to come out to play.
If you’ve recently become a convert like me, or you think you might start, here’s how to ace your mouthwash routine like a pro…

Do it daily
Ideally, you should use your mouthwash every day. The best time to employ a mouthwash is right after you’ve brushed your teeth. Store it in the bathroom beside your toothbrush to remind yourself to swirl.

Measure and slurp
The cap of your mouthwash bottle is the perfect measure for the amount of liquid you should take in – fill it up and slurp it onto the surface of your tongue and hold it there. You should never swallow mouthwash. While a little accidental swallow won’t do any harm, regular consumption in large quantities can be harmful.

Swirl and spit
Next, you should use your cheek muscles to swirl the mixture around in your mouth for about ten seconds, then tip your head back and gargle for a further thirty seconds to kill bacteria lurking in the back of your throat that your toothbrush didn’t reach (this is also the nasty kind that causes bad breath!) Spit into the sink and rinse your mouth out well with cool water.

Tip: If you have an aversion to strange minty blue liquids, (as I did) try a flavoured mouthwash – there’s a whole range to choose from at your local supermarket, from grape to strawberry!

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