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Salt water rinses have been used for centuries to help with oral health healing. Since 2700 B.C., it has been used by the Chinese to treat gum disease. It can help with an abscessed tooth, recovery from dental surgery, a sore throat (soothing strep, tonsillitis, and the common cold) along with sores in the mouth.

Why Salt Water? Rinsing with salt water temporarily increases the pH balance in your mouth, making the environment more alkaline and ultimately hostile to bacteria. Since bacteria thrive in an acidic environment, this prevents bacteria from breeding easily and wreaking havoc on teeth and gums.  As salt water is isotonic (it has the same salts and minerals as our bodies and in the same concentrations) it won’t irritate your mucus membranes like over-the-counter mouth washes can.

How Is a Salt Water Rinse Used? It’s easy! Start by dissolving up to a teaspoon of salt in a cup of WARM water. Next, take a sip, hold it in your mouth, and swish gently. After swishing for 30 seconds, spit, and repeat a few times. If you are using salt water after dental surgery, rinse your mouth every two to three hours at first, then taper down to three or four times a day.

What Are the Benefits of Salt Water? Many! Salt water flushes away irritants and bacteria in the mouth. It helps heal recovering tissues by reducing inflammation and easing swelling. It is not only cost effective to make but is easy to use. It is environmentally friendly, unlike other mouthwashes. It loosens mucus as well as food deposits between teeth. It can be mixed up anytime, anywhere, including emergency situations. People who have allergic reactions to alcohol-based mouth washes tolerate salt water rinses well.

For all its benefits, keep in mind that it is used for temporary situations–during times of healing and emergencies where you find yourself unable to use toothpaste. If you have any questions or concerns, please give Bellaire Dental Specialists a call at 713-520-8400!