Incorporating mouthwash into your daily brushing routine can give your oral hygiene a significant boost in health. Not only does mouthwash help to loosen bits of food from your teeth, but it's also proven to lessen the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth, temporarily reduce bad breath and leave you with a refreshingly clean feel and taste.
Mouthwash can reach areas of the mouth that a toothbrush and floss can't, such as the gums and other soft tissues. If you struggle with gingivitis or periodontal disease, incorporating a rinse can be especially helpful in supporting gum health.
There are many different types and brands of mouthwashes that all claim to offer different benefits while using them. Most mouthwashes can be sorted into two categories - Cosmetic and therapeutic.
Cosmetic Mouthwash: Rinsing with a cosmetic mouthwash will help to loosen food from your teeth and gums and decrease the number of bacteria in your mouth. Harmful bacteria create excessive plaque, which turns to tartar if it's not removed in time. These products will also leave your breath tasting fresh.
Therapeutic Mouthwash: Using a therapeutic mouthwash containing ingredients like essential oils, chlorhexidine, and fluoride has been proven to reduce plaque and help fight cavities and restore your enamel.
When choosing a mouthwash, the most important thing to remember is that no mouthwash is a substitute for brushing and flossing. Regardless of what type of mouthwash you use, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations listed on the product and ask your dentist for any clarifications on how to use the product correctly. Always choose a rinse with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, so you know the rinse is safe, effective, and thoroughly researched.
For Teeth Prone To Decay
Some of us are more likely to develop cavities than others based on genetics alone. While various tactics can help to protect your teeth, a fluoridated rinse can be highly beneficial. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel further to develop your smile's protection against oral acids. Those with deep fissures in their teeth find a rinse especially helpful since the liquid can access tight spots more effectively than a toothbrush alone.
For Freshening Your Breath
If you're looking to freshen your breath between brushing throughout the day quickly, look for a rinse that specifically freshens your breath. These rinses typically contain chlorine or zinc, which freshen your breath without being too harsh on your tongue, or sinuses like rinses that contain alcohol.
For Combating Oral Bacteria
If you have severe plaque buildup, gingivitis, or gum disease, you could benefit from changing the pH balance in your mouth. Antibacterial rinses help kill harmful bacteria, so look for a rinse that contains alcohol if oral bacteria is your primary concern.
For Preventing Gum Disease
If you have periodontal disease, first speak with your dentist for help on how to reverse the damage of gum disease. Once you have sought professional help, ask your dentist about which rinse they would recommend for you to help manage your gum disease and keep it from returning in the future.
Rinses are not recommended for children under the age of 6 because young children are at risk of swallowing mouthwashes, risking their overall health.
If your child is over the age of 6 and you feel they are ready to have mouthwash introduced to their oral routine, select a product specifically for children. There are specific products designed with kids in mind that are alcohol-free and contain fluoride to help strengthen a child's developing teeth. Always supervise your child during their oral hygiene routine to aid in teaching them proper cleaning habits.
If you're unsure which type of mouthwash your teeth could benefit from the most, ask Elite Dental & Denture PC at your next exam. We will help determine which product is the perfect fit for your needs.