What You Need to Know About Mouthwash
You may have seen the advertisements for a mouthwash where someone swishes liquid around in their mouth and then smiles at the camera. While it isn’t going to give you a sparkling smile, it could be beneficial to your oral health.
With so many brands on the market and with all of the misleading commercials, it can be difficult to decide if you really need it in your oral care routine. Let’s talk about mouthwash, what it does, and how to use it properly!
What is Mouthwash?
Mouthwash is an oral rinse used to cleanse your teeth, gums, and mouth after brushing. It can also combat bad breath and protect your teeth against tooth decay.
All brands are not created equal and don’t the same effects. Manufacturers can use various ingredients in different concentrations to achieve varying results.
What is the Purpose?
Mouthwash can reduce the plaque growth in your mouth, decrease your chances of developing gum disease, and prevent tooth decay. This rinse can also deeply clean your smile and strengthen your teeth with fluoride.
Some are considered cosmetic, they mask bad breath and leave a fresh taste in your mouth, but they don’t kill bacteria or offer protection against oral health issues, like gingivitis or plaque buildup.
Therapeutic mouthwashes feature active ingredients that combat specific issues, like bacteria and bad breath. You can get both types over-the-counter at many local stores, including supermarkets. However, some therapeutic rinses require a prescription from your dentist.
Is Mouthwash Good for Infections?
- Some rinses help with infections.
- Mouthwashes with antibacterial properties can help relieve pain and inflammation associated with an infection.
Advantages of Using Mouthwash
If you use mouthwash properly and choose the right product to meet your needs, it could:
- Helps reduce your risk of tooth decay.
- Helps remove debris and plaque buildup on your teeth.
- Helps with sores on your gums and soft tissues of the mouth.
- Helps prevent or manage gingivitis.
- Helps slow the formation of tartar.
- Freshens your breath.
- Whitens your teeth.
Can Mouthwash Have Negative Effects?
Not all mouthwash are made the same, and some can have negative effects on your oral health.
- Some contain alcohol, which can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. To aviod this select an alcohol-free or all-natural mouthwash.
- Mouthwash can wash away the effects of your toothpaste if used immediately after brushing.
- It can also leave your teeth unprotected and more sensitive.
- Some stronger mouth rinses have side effects, like staining your teeth.
- Some antibacterial products can wash away good bacteria with the bad, so it’s important to discuss your options with your dentist.
- Selecting a Mouthwash
When selecting a mouthwash, choose one that has the ADA seal of acceptance and also approved by the American Dental Association. Dentists recommend various types of mouthwash to meet the needs of the individual patient.
How To Use Mouthwash
Using mouthwash properly is the perfect way to ensure you get the results you want.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for usage.
- Swish the mouthwash around your mouth, being careful not to swallow it.
- Gargle for 30 seconds during your swish session.
- Spit out the mouthwash.
It’s often recommended to brush and floss prior to using mouthwash. If you use toothpaste with fluoride, you want to wait a bit before using mouthwash, so it doesn’t wash away the fluoride. Some people prefer to use mouthwash prior to brushing because it can help break up plaque and move debris from tough spots. That makes it easier for your toothbrush to do the rest.
Depending on the type of mouthwash, you may want to wait about about 30 minutes after brushing and flossing prior to use to not looose the benefits of your toothpaste. Do not rinse for about 30 minutes after using mouthwash.
Mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing can enhance your daily care oral health routine, but not replace it. If the mouthwash contains alcohol or fluoride, it’s best to reduce usage to once per day.
Cosmetic mouthwash doesn’t have the same active ingredients as regular mouthwash, so it may be possible to use it more often. As always, it’s in your best interest to follow your dentist’s guidance and the manufacturer’s directions.
Call our Plano dental office or Melissa dental office today!
Many mouthwash products can enhance your daily care routine, especially if you struggle with fresh breath or concerns about gingivitis. If you have questions about using mouthwash or you have concerns contact the Haight Family Dentistry team in at our Plano or our Melissa, TX by calling 972-527-5555 or request an appointment online.