How to Gargle

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Gargle

How to Gargle. Gargling is a great way to kill bacteria in your mouth. It also helps to give you fresher breath.

Things You'll Need

  • Mouthwash
  • Paper Cups
  • Paper cups

Buy mint-flavored mouthwash, the flavor that's usually preferable for someone feeling ill. Opt for other flavors or salt water if you like.

Pour the mouthwash into a clean glass or paper cup. If you pour it into the cup attached to the top, you'll run the risk of contamination, especially if you share the bottle with others. If you prefer to gargle with salt water, dissolve 1 /2 tsp. in 8 oz. of warm water.

Slide the mouthwash quickly over your tongue.

Throw your head back and stop the mouthwash right before it hits your epiglottis (the cartilaginous flap in the back of your throat). You'll know the mouthwash is resting in the right spot if you feel as if you're going to gag or swallow.

Make the mouthwash bubble and gurgle for at least 45 seconds. Pull your tongue back a little and blow air through your throat slowly. Be sure to keep your head way back, and remember to keep the mouthwash right in front of your epiglottis. That's where the germs are sitting, far back and out of sight. Try not to swallow any of the mouthwash.

Drop your head back down and spit the mouthwash out.

Repeat.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your sore throat feels better after you've gargled, this can be an indication that you don't have strep throat. Usually, gargling does very little to relieve strep throat pain but does a lot to relieve any other throat pain.
  • For children under 8, check with your pediatrician. Children who are too young to understand how to gargle should not be given mouthwash'there's a good chance they'll swallow it.
  • Mouthwash isn't lethal, but don't let children swallow a lot of it.
  • This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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