Should You Use Mouthwash Before or After Brushing?

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People often use mouthwash as part of their daily oral hygiene routines. It is known for killing bacteria, freshening up your breath, and improving overall oral health. But people often wonder if they should use mouthwash before or after they brush their teeth. 

If you want to learn more, please feel free to consult our dentist in NW Calgary, as they can help you decide what’s best for your personal oral health regime.

Using Mouthwash Before Brushing


  • Loosens particles: Rinsing with mouthwash prior to brushing can effectively aid in the loosening of food particles and debris, thereby facilitating their removal by your toothbrush. This can optimize the effectiveness of your brushing session.
  • Freshens breath: Starting your oral care routine with mouthwash can provide you with a burst of freshness, making brushing your teeth more enjoyable.
  • Fluoride absorption: Certain mouthwashes may contain fluoride, a beneficial ingredient that aids in strengthening tooth enamel and safeguarding against the development of cavities. Utilizing fluoride mouthwash prior to brushing can enhance the ability of fluoride to deeply penetrate the enamel for optimal effectiveness.


  • Reduced plaque removal: While mouthwash can help break up food, it may not be as effective as brushing in removing plaque and bacteria from your teeth.
  • Washing away toothpaste: Most toothpaste has fluoride and other compounds that are supposed to stay on your teeth for a long time, so using mouthwash before brushing could wash away the toothpaste and reduce its effectiveness.

Using Mouthwash After Brushing


  • Strengthens enamel: After brushing, using fluoride mouthwash can help keep fluoride on your teeth for longer periods of time, potentially strengthening enamel and preventing cavities.   
  • Leaves you feeling fresh: Mouthwash can be used as the final step in your oral hygiene routine. It helps to remove leftover food from your mouth and leaves it feeling clean and fresh.
  • Antibacterial boost: Some mouthwashes contain antibacterial components that can help lower the risk of gum disease when used after brushing.


  • Reduced freshness: If you prefer to have fresh breath right after brushing your teeth, using mouthwash after brushing your teeth may not provide you with the same fresh feeling as before.
  • Possible toothpaste dilution: If you use mouthwash after brushing your teeth, it could reduce the toothpaste on your teeth, making it less effective.

Ultimately, whether you use mouthwash before or after brushing is a matter of personal preference and goals. There is no perfect solution because both techniques offer benefits. You also can use mouthwash at different times of the day. Some individuals take it in the morning to freshen their breath and before night to get rid of germs.

Alongside using mouthwash, it’s also important to get regular dental cleanings in Evanston to ensure your oral health is in good shape. Consult a trusted dental professional to learn more about the necessary steps to take to maintain optimal oral health. 

Get in Touch with Us For Expert Dental Hygiene Advice

Sage Hill Dental is your reliable partner when it comes to ensuring you have excellent oral health and a gorgeous smile. Whether you seek advice regarding your daily oral care regimen, require assistance with specialized dental treatments or need dental cleanings and checkups near you, our team is dedicated to assisting you in attaining and preserving optimal oral health.

Schedule your appointment with our dentist near you to get a healthier brighter smile! In order to get started, you can email us, call, or drop by our physical office space and talk with a member of our staff in person. We can’t wait to see you very soon!