You’re at the grocery store and you come to the personal hygiene aisle. You are looking for a mouthwash, but you are instantly overwhelmed with the dozens of options to choose from all promising to reduce plaque, fight gingivitis, whiten teeth and so much more – but not all the claims are true. We have all been there. But don’t worry, we are here to offer you some helpful tips that will allow you to refine your search and pick out the perfect mouthwash to fit your needs!
We always talk about the importance of regular brushing and flossing, but using mouthwash regularly in your oral hygiene regimen is often overlooked. Studies have shown that regular use of mouthwash has undeniable benefits for your mouth. It cleans those hard to reach places that brushing can’t get to, rinses your whole mouth, and is proven to reduce gingivitis in those who use it regularly.
There are 3 major categories of mouthwash products from a consumer perspective. Here is what you need to know about each of them that will help you choose the perfect rinse for your mouth:
1.) Fluoride containing mouth rinses:
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay in your mouth and strengthens enamel. But most people don’t need fluoride in their mouthwash because they already get it from the fluoridated toothpaste they use. But there are some exceptions. People with xerostomia (abnormally dry mouth) might use this because severe dry mouth might cause bacterial imbalance in the mouth, and too much bad bacteria can lead to tooth decay. Also, people with cavities can benefit from this kind of mouthwash. Here is a list of ADA approved fluoride mouth rinses
2.) Mouthwashes to freshen breath:
Many of these mouthwashes will in fact freshen your breath, but they do not necessarily offer many (if any) long-term oral health benefits. The bacteria that cause bad breath are killed for the short term, but they will grow back.
3.) Anti-plaque or anti-gingivitis mouthwashes:
Adults are recommended to use this kind of mouthwash to supplement their brushing and flossing (although these are key components to oral health, we don’t always do a great job with these tasks, and this type of mouthwash can kills potentially damaging bacteria missed in brushing and flossing). If the mouthwash is ADA approved, that is the best, and they kill a much broader range of oral bacteria than the breath freshening rinses, which is better for your overall oral health. For people with more severe dental issues, contact us, we may prescribe you with a more powerful mouthwash that could help you! List of ADA approved anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis mouthwashes
Hope these tips help! Remember, mouth wash is no substitute for good brushing and flossing. All three together make for a powerful, effective, and healthy cleaning regimen!