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What Is a Pre-Rinse Mouthwash?

Lainie Petersen
Updated May 21, 2024
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A pre-rinse mouthwash, sometimes called a pre-brush mouthwash or mouth rinse, is a liquid used to clean the mouth prior to brushing or flossing the teeth. People often use these products as part of their daily oral hygiene routine. The benefits of a pre-rinse mouthwash vary by usage as well as its active ingredients. For example, some types of mouth rinse are designed to help people brush more effectively through the discoloration of areas that need more careful cleaning. Other types of pre-rinse mouthwash may contain whitening or antibacterial ingredients.

Mouthwashes have typically been sold either as a preventative or a treatment for bad breath. Some mouth rinses contain ingredients that primarily act to freshen breath. Others contain ingredients that can help protect the teeth by killing bacteria. Still others contain different types of ingredients that can whiten teeth or help mitigate staining. In some cases, manufacturers of mouth rinses advise the use of the product prior to brushing, while in other cases a mouthwash manufacturer may specifically recommend the use of its products after brushing to prevent a user from brushing away beneficial ingredients. Users of different types of mouthwash should read labels carefully to determine appropriate product usage.

Some dental experts do not believe that everyone needs to use a mouthwash, though dentists may advise individual patients to use a standard or pre-rinse mouthwash in order to improve their dental hygiene. Furthermore, some dentists advise against using an antibacterial mouthrinse prior to brushing, because it does not protect teeth and gums against bacteria introduced into the mouth by the toothbrush. On the other hand, some dentists do advise rinsing the mouth prior to brushing and flossing, because the rinsing action can help remove particles between and around the teeth. Individuals who are concerned about gum disease, bad breath, or stained teeth should speak to their dentist about an appropriate mouth rinse product to use for their condition. They should also check to see if their pre-rinse mouth wash or any other dental hygiene product has been endorsed by the professional association for dentists in the country where they live.

In all cases, it is important to note that the use of a mouthwash before or after brushing is not sufficient to protect teeth and gums from harmful bacteria. Brushing and flossing remain the primary ways of maintaining a healthy mouth. Mouth rinses should be chosen as an adjunct to good oral hygiene practices and regular dental care.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.
Discussion Comments
By literally45 — On Aug 20, 2013

@fBoyle-- It works but it takes forever. You have to use it consistently for weeks and I couldn't take the flavor so I stopped using it. It's not very good in my opinion.

By fify — On Aug 20, 2013

I had a dentist's appointment yesterday and he convinced me to use a pre-rinse mouthwash. Apparently brushing dislodges plaque that enters the blood stream and can be dangerous in the long run. Using a pre-rinse mouthwash first kills germs and flushes out plaque and is more effective than using a mouthwash after brushing. I believe him.

By fBoyle — On Aug 19, 2013

I always use mouthwash after brushing and this concept is new to me. But I was at the store the other day and saw a pre-rinse mouthwash to whiten teeth. My teeth are stained from coffee and tea and I've been looking for something that can whiten them. I'm curious about this product but it's kind of expensive so I don't want to buy it unless it really works.

Has anyone tried a pre-rinse mouthwash for whitening? Did it work?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
Learn more
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