What is mouthwash?

A mouthwash or rinse does not replace a regular oral hygiene routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing. The main function of most mouthwashes is to freshen breath, although if you suffer from severe chronic bad breath (halitosis), talk to your dentist about other ways to address the causes of the problem and manage your bad breath condition.

That said, some types of mouthwash, such as fluoride rinses, can help protect teeth against acids produced by plaque bacteria if you use them after you have thoroughly brushed and floss your teeth. And your dentist may prescribe a specific mouth rinse or mouthwash if you are recovering from a fungal infection or a bout of gum problems.