Does anyone gargle anymore?
When I was a young boy, my father taught me to gargle. I’m not sure why, other than his father probably taught him to gargle. I imagine it also had something to do with the old wives’ tale that gargling with mouthwash after brushing your teeth would cleanse and disinfect your mouth. And should you be trying to ward off the flu, or a sore throat, gargling with warm salt water would keep a cold at bay.
Proper gargle procedure suggests you fill your mouth half-way with liquid, tilt your head back and create a Jacuzzi-affect in the back of your mouth—creating a gurgling sound as air is expelled from the lungs and bubbles are created in the back of your mouth.
Once you were confident that all disease was gone, you spit the gargled liquid into the bathroom sink. It was all quite a loud process—as gurgling and spitting often are.
But I’m not sure if many still believe these remedies for disease. Personally, I don’t believe I have ever gargled with mouthwash or salt water since puberty. I opt for swirling Lysterine in my mouth, and hot Chai tea and lemon to ward off sore throat.
In that gargling is typically something done in private—behind the closed door of your bathroom, I’m not privy to the frequency and broad practice of the behavior in modern day society. But I will say, if you are still a practitioner, let us know. We are on the lookout for modern day garglers—those who still practice this unusual lost art.
Man with open mouth image courtesy of Shutterstock