Dentist Questions Dental Health

How often to use mouth wash?

I use a fluoride rinse once a day (right before bed). I chose that over a regular mouthwash because I am prone to cavities. Should I be doing it twice a day instead?

27 Answers

Twice a day should be fine if it is consistent with package instructions. While Fluoride works great, you need to carefully evaluate your diet to see what contributes to decay. Carbonated drinks with sugar, coffee with a lot of sugar, and sweets cause a lot of damage.
There are really two diseases we recommend rinses. The two diseases are tooth decay and periodontal disease. Fluoride rinses are specifically for decay and antiseptic rinses are for gums. For using fluoride rinses, depending on your other fluoride intake, rinse and expectorate should not be a problem.
Usually once a day is fine. If you are very prone to cavities, you may want to consider using a high fluoride toothpaste (eg Prevident) as well.
Mouthwashes are essentially useless and a waste of money. Using a Fluoride toothpaste and avoiding cola drinks are the most important things to do as well as having your teeth cleaned twice a year. Save your money.
After each brushing
You have the right idea. Twice a day is twice as good in a case like yours. If you need a dentist, call the office of Dr. Brad Emery, Dr. Nicholas Emery and Dr. Carol Scuro, at 585-247-7110. Or check out our website at
No. You are fine following the routine you have established.
Great question and many are interested in prevention. Because your day eating and drinking will lower the flouide on the teeth, best is night but it does not hurt to use more often
There is no harm in rinsing with a fluoride mouth wash twice a day. If you are very cavity prone or have braces it would provide extra protection from decay.
Hello and thank you for posting a great question.
I'm a big fan of Fluoride rinses (ie. ACT). I have been using one every night for the past 30 years and recommend them to most of my patients for raising resistance to tooth decay and helping prevent or lessen tooth sensitivity. Once a day is fine, but remember to avoid rinsing with water after using the Fl rinse for maximum benefit. It will continue to "soak in" for the next 30 mins. If you want to rinse in the morning, I would recommend an anti-plaque rinse such as Listerine or Crest Pro Health to decrease plaque bacteria.
Hope that helps and keep up the great work!
To whom it may concern,

Fluoride rinses will help and can be used twice a day. Talk with your general dentist about it. It depends what the fluoride rinse is as well. If its just crest or listerine then you should be fine. There are prescription fluoride rinses you can get from your general dentist which are stronger and you have to be careful how much fluoride you ingest. Otherwise, over the counter, you should be fine.
I fluoride rinse used once a day can be a great adjunct to regular brushing and flossing. Once a day is plenty especially if your community has fluoridated water and you use a fluoridated toothpaste.
I personally use it morning and night to disinfect my gums and rinse out any debris and also to help with any morning breath. - Dr. Bishop
The most important thing with using a fluoride rinse is to make sure you have removed all the plaque from your teeth first so that the rinse can contact tooth structure. The second most important thing is to spit out the mouthwash and then do not rinse with water or eat/ drink for thirty minutes. Once a day, preferably at bedtime, is sufficient.
How often to use a fluoride rinse really depends on your specific caries rate and susceptibility (how likely you are to get and how often get cavities). This is something your dental professional can discuss with you. For the general population most fluoride rinses specify once daily.
I think fluoride rinse over night is pretty good especially if you are cavity prone (of course do not eat or drink after). Since i am not sure about the severity of your dental decay i cannot necessarily recommend an increase in the usage.
The best things to prevent cavities is proper brushing and flossing. Nothing replaces them. You can still use the mouth rinse and once a day is good.
Rinsing after each brushing and flossing would be my recommendation
Daily care and diet play the biggest role in enamel breaking down. Acid erosion happens when we eat, so having coffee/soda/snacks in between meal times can prolong acid wear and tooth enamel breakdown. Reduce that frequency to just meal times, Brush 2xday and floss. Use of flouride mouthrinse each night is good to harden the enamel in order to make it more resistant to acid erosion. And regular dental exam/cleanings to help with areas that may need more attention.
There are many reasons someone can be prone to decay. There is a mouth spray that has fluoride and neutralizes oral acids that fits in your pocket. It is by CariFree and you can ask your doctor to order it for you.
You can use that after each meal/snack. Cavities is a very preventable disease and plaque is the root cause of it. If there is no plaque on your teeth there should be no decay.
If cavity prevention is your goal, a fluoride-containing mouth rinse is an excellent choice. In addition, diet and proper plaque removal are important considerations, specifically the amount and the frequency of sugar consumption. Brushing and flossing twice daily and using a fluoride mouth rinse before going to bed is a great oral routine. In addition, I would suggest not eating or drinking anything after the rinse so the fluoride can strengthen your teeth all night. Finally, I would limit sugar intake to mealtimes, both food, and drinks. For example, you can still eat dessert, but eat it at the end of lunch and dinner and limit snacking to hard crunchy tooth-friendly snacks such as carrots, cheese, and nuts. If you want juice or soda, eat that with your meal and drink water the rest of the day.
Sure, using fluoride mouth rinse is a good adjunct to proper daily home care. There are no adverse effects in using it twice daily.
If you have been on a moderate to high caries risk and if you have been recommended to use fluoride mouth rinses, then it is usually better to use it at least twice daily. Your dentist can make more custom recommendations based on the examination and results of thorough examination and treatment plan.
As long as you floss and brush properly, you don't need extra chemicals to avoid cavities.
You may use it twice a day after brushing and flossing and not to rinse for about 30 minutes. You need to mechanically remove the plaque buildup around your gums and teeth to keep the cavities away. The acidity from soda and sugary foods also contributes to tooth decay. Make sure to visit your dentist every 6 months for overall oral health.
Mouthwash can be used as often as you wish. Just don't ingest it, only swish and spit it out.
The fluoride itself isn't as important as getting off any acidic residue off your teeth. Rinse out your mouth after sodas, teas, etc. to get your saliva back neutral from acidic. Once a day at night should be good for mouth rinse. Keep your saliva neutral!