An effective at-home oral health routine is a good way to keep your teeth, gums and tongue healthy. Brushing twice a day for two minutes a day and flossing at least once is the baseline for any healthy mouth¹. But your dental health isn’t just about brushing and flossing. A saltwater rinse is a cost-effective way to help boost your oral health that you can do at home.
A saltwater rinses help fight off gingivitis², halitosis, or bad breath disease, and even a sore throat³. Plus, this simple (and cost-effective) at-home remedy can even promote quicker healing in your mouth after surgery or a small trauma like a cut.
Here’s how you can add a salt rinse to your at-home oral health routine. Always check with your dentist first.
How to do a saltwater rinse
To make a saltwater rinse, add ½ a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Swish the rinse around your mouth for ten to twelve seconds, then spit it out.
Make sure you don’t swallow the saltwater, as all that salt can be dehydrating and isn’t healthy to ingest!
After brushing and flossing, you can use a salt rinse three to four times a week. But don’t use a salt rinse more often than this - too much sodium could have negative effects on your tooth enamel, like eventual erosion⁴.
The benefits of a saltwater rinse
Where bacteria thrive, so does sickness. When you use a salt rinse, it’s harder for the bacteria in your mouth to grow spores that thrive and breed. And these bacteria spores can lead to sickness and a sore throat.
Fights bad breath
If your mouth is sensitive to traditional alcohol-based mouthwashes, saltwater rinses are a cheap and natural alternative for fresh breath.
The oral bacteria that the saltwater helps fight off can be responsible for everything from gingivitis to bad breath⁵. Swish with saltwater after lunch or your coffee break, and enjoy fresh breath without the intense sting of alcohol-based mouthwashes.
Plus, saltwater rinses help remove particles of food that are stuck between your teeth. If left there, those particles could irritate and inflame your gums. That could mean more cavities and more trips to the dentist (plus more dental bills to pay!)
Salt is one of the cheapest ingredients you can find at the store, which makes adding this versatile ingredient to your daily dental health routine easy, allowing you to create a mouthwash without alcohol.
From fresher breath to healing wounds faster, using a saltwater rinse just once a week can help to improve your oral hygiene and make a difference for your dental health.
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https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/brushing-your-teeth Accessed 7/8/2021
https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/salt-water-rinse#when-to-use (2021) Accessed 7/8/2021
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/conditions/mouth-sores-and-infections/how-salt-water-mouth-rinse-benefits-oral-health-1214 Accessed 7/8/2021
https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-make-saline-solution-salt-water-mouth-rinse-4109216 (2020) Accessed 7/8/2021
https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/products/saltwater-as-mouthwash.htm Accessed 7/8/2021