The Importance of Using Mouthwash
Are you contemplating adding a mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine? Here is some of the information you need to know to choose the right mouthwash according to your needs.
Question: Does It Matter When I Use Mouthwash?
Manual or power brushing should be your primary means of reducing plaque. But the good news is you can rinse your mouth with mouthwash before or after you brush and/or floss without significantly affecting its benefits.
Question: What Types of Mouthwashes Are Available?
There are two main kinds of mouthwashes:
- Cosmetic: lack an active ingredient. Often temporarily control bad breath and leave a pleasant taste. (Ex Scope)
- Therapeutic: contain an active ingredient. Examples being cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), chlorhexidine (CHX), fluoride, and peroxide. They generally offer antimicrobial, bactericidal, and bacteriostatic properties. Many of these mouthwashes are only available through a prescription from your oral health professionals.
A mouth rinse, however, cannot cure serious problems like a severe tooth cavity, dental abscess, or gum disease. Persistent bad breath or halitosis can be a sign of underlying oral health problems and should be discussed with your dentist.
Question: What Are Common Mouthwash Ingredients and Their Use?
- Fluoride: Enamel strengthening tooth protection.
- Xylitol & Glycerine: For the treatment of the dry mouth, generally contain a moisturizing saliva substitute with anticaries ingredients.
- Whiteners or Bleachers: Mouthwashes containing peroxide can help remove stains from your teeth and prevent stains from building up.
- Antimicrobials: This mouthwash contains ingredients that can kill bacteria in plaque buildup. It can also help in treating early-stage gum disease (gingivitis).
Question: What About Natural Mouthwashes? Are There Other Ingredients to Watch for or Avoid?
- Natural Mouthwashes: Do not contain any active antibacterial ingredients. They do contain xylitol, which can aid in the prevention of cavities.
- Sodium Laurel Sulphate: Foaming agent in toothpaste and mouthwashes. Can cause localized irritation or tissue sloughing. If irritation occurs when using these products, discontinue use.
- Alcohol: Alcohol-based mouthwashes have been linked to an increased risk of oral cancer-c if used regularly. So, a non - alcohol-based mouth wash is ideal.
Mouthwash can certainly provide additional benefits to your existing oral health routine. If you are unsure which is best for you, speak with your oral health professionals.