Why It Is Important To Rinse Your Mouth For Better Oral Hygiene


Have you ever woke up with a slight irritation or pain in your throat? Well, these could be the telltale signs of a possible infection like flu or strep throat. Before we jump the gun and scavenge for heavy pharmaceutical medicines, we should consider following the age-old prescription of gargling and rinsing the mouth with saltwater.

Rinsing and gargling have their own benefits in maintaining good oral hygiene but what is it that makes the two stand apart? While rinsing involves swishing the water around every corner of the mouth, gargling involves holding saltwater at the back of the throat and blowing out air through it, making the gurgling sound. This process not only clears the throat but also breaks down or removes mucus, bacteria, virus, and allergens. Rinsing your mouth with saltwater regularly helps you fight tooth decay and maintain good oral health.

Why rinsing and gargling are necessary

Rinsing/ gargling with salt water is a vital step in improving one’s oral health. Here are a few known benefits of doing it regularly.

●      Soothes inflammation/sore throat

Gargling strikes the infected zone by inducing osmosis – a chemical process that removes or draws out the fluid from the infected area. Moreover, rinsing your mouth helps draw out the harmful bacteria from your gums, thus preventing further infection. It removes mucus from the throat and relieves nasal congestion. Gargling also helps in clearing the vocal cords and is, therefore, an effective way of getting ready before a show or a gig.

●      Eliminates bad breath

The saltwater helps in maintaining the natural pH balance of the mouth. It neutralizes the acid caused by bacteria, thus helping fight issues like gingivitis, bad breath, and even yeast infections. Rinsing also helps in fighting tooth decay, canker sores, and bleeding gums. All one needs to do is to rinse the mouth with salt water whenever possible to maintain good oral hygiene.

Tips to gargle and rinse your mouth properly

●      Add just a half teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. Excess salt concentration causes dehydration and softening of enamel. So, in case you do not have a sore throat, rinse your mouth with saltwater just 2 or 3 times a week.

●      Hold the water for 30 seconds at the back of your throat, gargle and swish it around the mouth before expelling the water.

●      Repeat the process at least 3-4 times to observe a change in your throat.

●      Do spit out the saltwater after rinsing your mouth. Excess intake of salt/ sodium has negative effects on cardiovascular muscle.

It’s important to remember that such simple measures can go a long way in maintaining good oral health. So, include rinsing and gargling as an important part of your daily oral care regimen starting today, since it’s never too late to start!

Remember, beautiful teeth are healthy teeth!

Dr. Nishan Halim


Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in adult and pediatric restorative and cosmetic dentistry, as well as preventive dentistry, and is located at the heart of this Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center.  To learn more about the nutrition connection to oral health, contact Dr. Halim to schedule an appointment. Find out how he can help you maintain your healthy smile.

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