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A daily oral rinse is the perfect way to boost the effectiveness of the hard work you put into brushing and flossing. It’s additional protection against gingivitis and tooth decay, and it’s among the better things you can do for your breath.

Here are the 4 best properties of mouthwash:

It’s a bacteria killer: The antibacterial agents in mouthwash go to work on whatever your toothpaste left behind. Swish it thoroughly in your mouth — the more places it soaks, the more effective it will be.

It’s a plaque preventer: The liquid coats your mouth with a protective solution, and because it’s a liquid, it flows deeply between your teeth to keep build-up at bay. Remember that mouthwash doesn’t reduce already-developed plaque — which is where flossing and brushing come in.

It’s a particle remover: After a brush and a floss, the odd straggler may still be hanging around between your teeth. A good rinse will dislodge them, but be sure to wipe your tongue across the back and front of your teeth while the mouthwash is still in there.

It’s a cavity fighter: Look for mouthwash with fluoride, as it helps reduce the chances of an unhealthy mouth. It’s also an enamel strengthener and a tongue cleaner, which is part of the way it helps give you fresh breath.

Lastly, a good oral rinse is exceptionally refreshing, especially in the morning. Once you get into the habit, you’ll never quite feel fully awake without it.

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