The Benefits of Mouthwash
Mouthwash has a variety of uses, from freshening breath to preventing tooth decay. Swishing daily with mouthwash can help you maintain great oral health by killing the germs and bacteria that linger in your mouth between your teeth. Learn more about the various types of mouthwash and how you can use them to improve your overall oral health.
- What is mouthwash?
- What are the benefits of mouthwash?
- How do I use mouthwash?
- Does mouthwash have any side effects?
- Where can I get mouthwash?
What is mouthwash?
Mouthwash, also known as mouthrinse, is an oral hygiene product that you can use in addition to brushing and flossing. Generally, these oral rinses are classified as cosmetic, therapeutic, or a combination of both. Cosmetic mouthwashes can remove oral debris, temporarily suppress bad breath, and refresh the mouth with a pleasant taste. In addition to these benefits therapeutic mouthwashes – including antiseptic, anti-plaque, and anti-cavity formulas – include ingredients to protect against oral disease. Antiseptic and anti-plaque mouthwashes can kill the germs that cause plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath, while anti-cavity formulas use fluoride to prevent and reduce tooth decay.
What are the benefits of mouthwash?
Research shows that using a germ-killing mouthwash in addition to brushing your teeth can reduce plaque and gingivitis more than brushing alone. Additionally, anti-cavity mouthwashes with fluoride have been clinically proven to fight up to 50% more of the bacteria that cause cavities. However, cosmetic mouthwashes that are not formulated to kill germs do not provide these cavity fighting benefits.
How do I use mouthwash?
First, make sure that you brush and floss your teeth well. Your teeth should be as clean as possible in order to get the full benefits of your mouthwash. Once you are ready to rinse, measure the proper amount as specified on the container, or as instructed by your dentist. With your lips closed and teeth apart, swish the liquid around your mouth. Many formulas suggest swishing for at least 30 seconds or more. Finally, thoroughly spit the liquid form your mouth. If you are using an anti-cavity mouthwash, do not rinse, eat, or drink for 30 minutes after use. Otherwise, you will dilute the fluoride and rinse it away, diminishing the protective properties.
Does mouthwash have any side effects?
Side effects may vary, depending on which formula you use. If you experience any irritation or adverse reactions immediately stop using it and speak to Dr. Griffin. Most anti-cavity rinses contain sodium fluoride, which can lead to fluoride toxicity if taken excessively or swallowed. Because children tend to swallow mouthwash accidentally, they should not use anti-cavity formulas before the age of 6, and children older than age 6 should use them only with adult supervision.
Where can I get mouthwash?
Most mouthwashes are available over the counter. However, dentists can prescribe special formulas for patients with more severe oral problems, including cavities, periodontal disease, gum inflammation, and xerostomia (dry mouth). Talk to Dr. Griffin today to see what’s right for you or if you have any questions about your oral health or any other dental issues, please feel free to give us a call here in Carrollton, TX at 972-242-2155. Or, simply use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form on this page.
(Information gathered from the Academy of General Dentistry)