Mouthwash is a common part of dental care routines, but many people are unsure whether or not it is necessary. While you can maintain a clean mouth with just brushing and flossing, mouthwash can go a little further to eliminate germs in hard-to-reach areas. Below is information about mouthwash that you may have forgotten to ask your dentist.
Why Is Mouthwash Important?
Mouthwash supports a healthy dental care routine by temporarily freshening breath, fighting cavities, relieving discomfort from gum irritation and disease. Additionally, it can relieve dry mouth or pain caused by sores. When used regularly, mouthwash can reduce the severity of gum disease, tooth decay, and plaque buildup.
Which One Should I Use?
There are many varieties of mouthwash, but they fall into two categories: therapeutic and cosmetic. Cosmetic mouthwashes target the treatment of bad breath to refresh your mouth, while therapeutic ones—whether over-the-counter or prescribed—target dental conditions such as gingivitis, tooth decay, and plaque accumulation.
When searching for an over-the-counter mouthwash, read the label. Look for fluoride and the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. Fluoride fights cavities and tooth decay due to its strengthening effects on enamel, and the ADA seal of approval indicates that that product has been thoroughly analyzed and supported by scientific evidence to be effective and safe.
You can search for other ingredients in your mouthwash to target your specific problems, such as chlorhexidine to prevent dry socket; antimicrobials like chlorhexidine and chlorine dioxide for long-term help with bad breath and plaque buildup; and local anesthetics such as lidocaine, benzocaine/butamin/tetracaine hydrochloride, dyclonine hydrochloride, or phenol for relief of aching gums, teeth, and sores. Since there’s such a large variety, ask your dentist to recommend a mouthwash based on your history.
When & How Should It Be Used?
In general, you should use mouthwash 1-2 times a day, usually after brushing your teeth, and you should swish it around in your mouth for a full 30 seconds. By giving it time to take action, the mouthwash will sanitize your teeth and gums, killing bacteria and bad breath germs.
In Anchorage, AK, you and your family will receive exceptional dental care from the team at Chinook Family Dentistry. Since their start more than 35 years ago, they’ve emphasized patient comfort and preventive care to avoid restorative procedures whenever possible. They rigorously maintain sterilized, safe offices and equipment that comply with CDC, OSHA, and EPA regulations. View their services online, and call (907) 272-8422 to book an appointment.