We’ve been told that rinsing your mouth between meals is a great way to decrease plaque buildup and tooth decay. But what about using a salt water rinse? In today’s blog from Parkcrest Dental Group, we will discuss the reasons for using this type of rinse and the benefits you can get from it.
Related Post: Preparing for Oral Surgery
Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), and has been used as an aid in treating wounds and infections since 1600 BCE. The Egyptians used salt to dry out and disinfect wounds. The Greeks mixed salt with honey, creating a topical ointment to disinfect wounds and cuts.
Since then, the healing benefits of salt have been used throughout the world in various applications, including dentistry and oral health.
When to Use a Salt Rinse
The natural healing benefits of salt are perfect for treating mouth sores, tongue irritation, and sore throats. Your dentist will recommend rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water solution after a tooth extraction or oral surgery because it aids in the healing of the wound and can also kill bacteria. However, your dentist may recommend using a salt water rinse several times a week just to maintain good oral health.
Related post: What is Tooth Extraction?
Make Your Own Salt Water Rinse
Making your own salt water rinse is easier than you think and only takes a couple of minutes.
Salt Water Mouth Rinse
- 1 cup (8 ounces) warm water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda (optional)
Microwave the water or bring to a boil on the stove. Add the salt and baking soda until they are dissolved. (Baking soda has also been known to have cleaning properties and reduces bacteria and acid in the mouth.) Let the water cool enough so it doesn’t burn your mouth. Take a mouthful and swish it around in the mouth gently. Spit and repeat three to four times.
Discard any leftover rinse. Repeat as directed by your dentist or oral hygiene specialist.
Maintaining good oral hygiene will reduce the risk of infections and other mouth issues.
Visit Your Dentist at Parkcrest Dental Group
Brushing your teeth should occur after meals and before bed. When brushing isn’t an option, swish and rinse your mouth with water. Salt water rinses come in handy for keeping your mouth clean and free from bacteria. As always, be sure and get regular dental checkups and cleanings every six months. Contact Parkcrest Dental Group online or call (417) 887-1220 to make an appointment.