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Water swishing

Sir, it is good to read that the University of Salford and Unilever Oral Care are collaborating in their public-private partnership to improve oral health across 38 countries (commissioned by the FDI World Dental Federation) through the Live, Learn, Laugh programme.1

In addition to brushing teeth, swishing of water after food and soft drinks consumption and between meals can be a safe, economic and easy means to improve oral hygiene in developing countries which is much overlooked. Oral irrigation is an effective alternative to manual tooth brushing and dental floss for reducing bleeding and gingival inflammation.2 Dental waterjets and mouthwashes are expensive but vigorous water swishing using movement of the lips, tongue, cheeks can be a beneficial alternative for good oral hygiene.

Swishing 20-30 ml of water after eating food or consumption of soft drinks and also between meals for two to five minutes can be of help in removal of loosened food particles, dead cells and mucus from the oral cavity.3


  1. Focus on world oral health. Br Dent J 2009; 206: 612.

  2. Barnes C M, Russell C M, Reinhardt R A, Payne J B, Lyle D M . Comparison of irrigation to floss as an adjunct to tooth brushing: effect on bleeding, gingivitis, and supragingival plaque. J Clin Dent 2005; 16: 71–77.

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  3. Math M V, Balasubramaniam P . Oral health and water. Indian J Nutr Diet 2008; 45: 388–391.

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Math, M., Balasubramaniam, P. Water swishing. Br Dent J 207, 304 (2009).

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