Mouthwash through the ages

Is gargling part of your oral hygiene routine?

In a series of recent articles, we've discussed the history of several of the most important dental innovations that we humans have come up with in order to take better care of our teeth. Many of these seem quite standard and commonplace today, but you'd be surprised at the extensive journey that common items like the toothbrush have taken over the years, before reaching their current incarnation.

In this instalment, we're going to be taking a splash in the history of mouthwash, to discover where it came from, and how that relates to its usage today. Read on to find out more.

Rinsing is key to good oral health. Rinsing is key to good oral health.

The history of mouthwash

Like many other items that you keep in your bathroom, mouthwash has actually been around for thousands of years. One of the earliest known variants was used by the ancient Romans, and it consisted almost entirely of urine. While this might seem a bit unpleasant by today's standards, the purpose of mouthwash was largely the same. It's desired effect was to keep teeth white and bacteria-free, which could be achieved through the ammonia in urine. 

Fortunately for us, the technology has evolved quite a bit since ancient times, and over the years mouthwashes have been made from all sorts of different substances. Things really got going in the 1900s though, when chemicals were introduced to provide a raft of other benefits to teeth.

Mouthwash today

Today, there are hundreds of types of mouthwash to choose from, depending on your desired outcome, oral health situation and even flavour preference (urine is no longer an option). Despite this cornucopia of possibilities, it's still important to make sure that you keep a few things in mind. For example, avoid products with high concentrations of alcohol, as this can lead to oral health issues, and always use gargling to compliment regular brushing, not to replace it.

You'll also want to make sure that you're using an appropriate product. If you're sensitive to certain chemicals or are worried about which might be best for you, it's always best to check with your dentist directly. They'll be able to help you find the right mouthwash, and can give you a few tips on how to best integrate the product into your brushing routine. When used correctly, mouthwash can be a great way to reduce the growth of plaque, keeping your mouth, teeth and gums in tip-top shape. 

For more information about mouthwash and general dental maintenance, get in touch with City Dentists today.