You know how important it is to brush your teeth and to floss your teeth, but do you really need to have mouthwash, too? Many people forego using mouthwash because they feel that they are getting their teeth and gums clean enough without it. However, this could be a mistake. You will find that there are some nice benefits to using mouthwash. Let’s look at a couple of the biggest benefits to see why you should consider adding mouthwash to your oral care routine.
Helps to Provide a Full Cleaning
For starters, when you use mouthwash, it will provide you with a fuller, better clean for your mouth. Even though you are brushing your teeth and flossing, there are still areas that can’t be reached. All of those little crevices between the teeth that can’t be reached with your floss or the bristles of your brush are breeding grounds for bacteria. They can cause damage to your teeth. Using mouthwash can help to reach those areas and will improve your oral health.
Kills Germs that Cause Teeth to Decay and Provide Other Benefits
Using mouthwash, particularly mouthwash with fluoride can help to prevent cavities. It can also strengthen enamel and re-mineralize your teeth, which can stop the process of decay. Mouthwash can also help to stop plaque from building up on your teeth, which will reduce the number of bacteria on the teeth that release acids. There are also options for mouthwashes that can help with whitening your teeth. You can find different types of mouthwash that can help with different oral health needs.
Helps to Reduce Bad Breath
Of course, one of the other benefits of using mouthwash is that it can help to combat bad breath. Although it won’t kill bad breath permanently, it can help to reduce it at least temporarily. It will kill bacteria that cause odors that might still exist even after brushing and flossing. It can also be nice to have around for those times after lunch when you have an upcoming meeting that’s face to face and you don’t have time to brush. It will keep the scent of garlic out of the meeting room.
How and When to Use Mouthwash
Something that you need to remember is that using mouthwash is not a replacement for brushing and flossing. It’s an additional way to help your oral health. Typically, you will use the mouthwash twice a day when you brush and floss in the morning and evening. You could use it more often, but don’t overdo it and do not swallow it.
The alcohol and the fluoride that are in many of the mouthwashes should not be ingested in high amounts. This is especially true for children. The American Dental Association does not recommend that mouthwash is used for any children who are under six years old.
How to Choose Mouthwash
A look online or in the local grocery store or pharmacy will show you that there are many mouthwash options on the market today. What should you look for when choosing mouthwash? When you are choosing a mouthwash, one of the first things you should do is look for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. Sometimes your dentist will recommend you use a prescription mouthwash for certain conditions. Talk to them and see.
You will also want to look at the other added features and benefits the particular mouthwash can offer. For example, you will likely want to have mouthwash that includes fluoride, since it is good for your teeth. You might want to find an alcohol-free mouthwash, or maybe you are looking for something that includes hydrogen peroxide for whitening. Maybe you need an option for sensitive teeth. Determine what you need and then find a mouthwash that can meet those needs.
If you are uncertain about what you should choose, you can always talk with your dentist. They can provide information on mouthwash, toothbrushes, oral care, and more. Dr Foutz can give you specific recommendations for your situation.
Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS
2510 Wigwam Parkway Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89074