Brett E. Gilbert, D.D.S.
Many patients will use it once and stop. Rinsing with warm salt water should be several times a day especially after eating. Salt water kills bacteria, soothes irritated tissues.
You do not make your salt water solution too salty. Eating a whole bag of chips can make your mouth, tongue, lips and gums very irritated.
Using too hot water can burn your mouth. I never liked using cold salt water. You can use salt water and ajust the temperature you like and it is cheap. You can choose the type of water you use. If you are out, many places offer free hot water for tea. Take the hot water, add some cold water to adjust the temperature to your liking. Restaurants offer free salt packs. You can rinse your mouth as often as you like.
Good for you for asking a great question! A warm salt water rinse is an antiseptic technique. It is used to keep things clean, mainly the gingiva (gum tissues). When a root canal is performed a rubber dam is usually used and this is to help keep the area clean. The canal of a tooth is normally bacteria-free and the goal at the end of the root canal is to keep it bacteria-free. Usually a warm salt water mouth rinse after a root canal keeps the amount of bacteria in the mouth lower and is simply just going one step further.
Truth of the matter is, the tooth that has had the root canal needs to be sealed off at the end. If it is not sealed off bacteria will get in there no matter how many warm salt water rinses are done. Hope this helps.
My best to you!
William F. Scott IV, DMD