Most people rinse with mouthwash to ensure minty fresh breath, but there are other benefits to the practice. All mouthwashes and rinses aren’t created equal. For a safe and effective mouth rinse, look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Brands that receive the seal have to prove the scientific evidence that demonstrates the product’s safety and effectiveness to its claims. No matter what, when used as directed, the benefits of mouthwash are undeniable.
Mouthwash or mouth rinse can have therapeutic properties, reducing plaque build-up, bad breath, and gingivitis resulting in tooth decay. There are two types of mouthwash: therapeutic and cosmetic.
Cosmetic. Cosmetic mouthwashes will affect bad breath, eliminating it temporarily while providing a fresh taste in the mouth. The results of a cosmetic mouthwash/rinse are only temporary. There are no active ingredients in the product other than those to temporarily relieve bad breath. Cosmetic mouthwashes – the kind that whitens teeth or simply mask odor – do not kill bacteria that result in gingivitis and tooth decay.
Therapeutic Mouthwash. Therapeutic mouthwash has properties that control bad breath by attacking and killing odor-causing bacteria. Therapeutic mouthwash’s active ingredients will reduce the chance of gingivitis resulting in periodontitis. It also fights tooth decay by reducing plaque on teeth. You may recognize the names of some ingredients that are found in therapeutic mouth diseases, such as fluoride and peroxide. Other ingredients include cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine.
The active ingredients in therapeutic mouthwash will reduce bad breath and also control plaque that leads to gingivitis, while fluoride actively prevents decay. Peroxide is a whitening agent and aids in whitening tooth enamel. Essential oils are added to therapeutic mouthwashes. The oils, like the active ingredient, chlorhexidine, control plaque and gingivitis. Cetyplyridinium reduces bad breath.
Benefits of Mouthwash
There are definite benefits to using mouthwash, especially the type that is therapeutic.
Adding mouthwash to your regular oral hygiene regimen will increase the chances of eliminating bad breath, tooth decay and gingivitis, while also promoting healthy gums and teeth.
Keeping regular dental appointments and brushing your teeth and flossing them regularly will ensure good oral hygiene that fights bad breath and gingivitis. Using mouthwash is a second line of defense.
Mouthwash can minimize the growth of cavities, as it helps to prevent plaque build-up and removes particles that adhere to teeth. Mouthwash that contains fluoride strengthens enamel and helps in the fight against cavities and helps to prevent them from forming.
How to Use Mouthwash
A mouthwash or rinse that contains fluoride as an active ingredient is the best choice to prevent tooth decay. Rinsing before brushing your teeth is an advantage. Don’t use mouthwash directly after brushing your teeth. Rinsing your mouth right after brushing your teeth will wash away the benefits of the fluoride toothpaste. Use mouthwash at a different time of day that doesn’t coincide with brushing, perhaps at lunch or during a break at work. Mouthwash can be used everyday.
If you live or are in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Dr. Steven Hagerman at the Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is happy to assess all of your dental concerns. The friendly staff at Hagerman Dental Care welcomes your inquiry. If you have any questions about our cosmetic, restorative, pediatric or general dentistry services, or you would like to schedule an appointment or consultation, please call our office at (651) 646-2392. You can also request an appointment online.