Mouthwash, mouth rinse, oral rinse, or mouth bath is a liquid which is held in the mouth passively or swilled around the mouth by contraction of the perioral muscles and/or movement of the head, and may be gargled, where the head is tilted back and the liquid bubbled at the back of the mouth. Usually mouthwashes are antiseptic solutions intended to reduce the microbial load in the oral cavity, although other mouthwashes might be given for other reasons such as for their analgesic, anti-inflammatory or anti-fungal action. Additionally, some rinses act as saliva substitutes to neutralize acid and keep the mouth moist in xerostomia (dry mouth). Cosmetic mouthrinses temporarily control or reduce bad breath and leave the mouth with a pleasant taste. Rinsing with water or mouthwash after brushing with a fluoride toothpaste can reduce the availability of salivary fluoride. This can lower the anti-cavity re-mineralization and antibacterial effects of fluoride. Fluoridated mouthwash may mitigate this effect or in high concentrations increase available fluoride. A group of experts discussing post brushing rinsing in 2012 found that although there was clear guidance given in many public health advice publications to "spit, avoid rinsing with water/excessive rinsing with water" they believed there was a limited evidence base for best practice.
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