Floss, brush mouthwash, repeat. Mouthwash is not a part of the usual dental hygiene routine but it is often suggested to use as it claims to help fight bad breath and oral diseases like gingivitis and tooth decay. But have you ever wondered about mouthwash? Where did it come from, why it was invented, is it just mouthwash or is it something more? Answers and fun facts about this mouthwash madness are available right here!
- Back before mouthwash was invented, people chewed on things like peppermint, eucalyptus, and vanilla beans to freshen their breath.
- In the 1800s, mouthwash ingredients could include ammonia, honey, and eucalyptus until ammonia was then replaced by alcohol.
- No one wanted to buy mouthwash for its germ-killing properties at first, the increase of sales happened because they started to market mouthwash as a way to battle against bad breath.
- There are actually three different types of mouthwash: antiseptic (used to fight bacteria that causes bad breath and treat gingivitis), fluoride (used to help prevent tooth decay and is an active ingredient in toothpaste), and combination (which works to do both). If you’re not sure which kind of mouthwash is right for you, it’s really about what you want your mouthwash to do for you.
Now here’s a bit of a disclaimer: I haven’t tried any of these methods personally, but if you run into a rut and have alcohol-based mouthwash at your disposal, perhaps consider trying it out! It wows me how people find so many uses for simple household items.
Non-traditional Uses of Mouthwash:
- Multiple camping uses. Mouthwash can be used to treat the itching and inflammation from poison ivy or provide instant itch relief from bug bites. Keep your breath fresh and keeping itch under control by bringing mouthwash on your next camping trip.
- Garlic odor killer. You probably already use this for your breath, but after dicing up garlic, have you considered using mouthwash for your hands? Pour some mouthwash on your hands, rub, and let air dry. Garlic odor death by mouthwash!
- Keeping those flowers fresh. Isn’t it sad when you buy or receive beautiful flowers and they start wilting when day 4 or 5 comes around?By mixing two tablespoons of mouthwash per one gallon of water, you can use this mixture to keep your flowers fresh for longer.
- Sanitize your toothbrush. It’s very easy for germs to attach themselves to our toothbrushes, and then they go into our mouths twice a day. Not to mention we brush our teeth in the dirtiest room in the house. Pouring mouthwash into a cup and wetting your toothbrush bristles for thirty seconds will kill some of the bacteria.
- Treating bruises. You ran into the corner of the coffee table for the fifth time, you bruise easily, and you want to wear shorts, what do you do? Wipe some mouthwash over your bruised area and it should reduce the appearance of the bruise. Just make sure and watch out for your coffee table next time.
Thu Nguyen is writing on behalf of Austin Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. She primarily uses mouthwash for its mouth-germ-killing properties but the next time she gets a bug bite, she might run for the mouthwash and not the hydrocortisone.