This question comes up all the time in the dental field. People are often surprised when it is recommended that they incorporate a rinse into their daily routine. Mouthwashes are generally regarded as a quick-fix for bad breath or a mere substitute for tooth-brushing, when short on time.
But is that all mouthwashes are good for? Why would a dental care provider suggest that you use a mouthwash regularly?
Mouthwashes do more than just freshen breath. They provide significant health benefits.
Not just any rinse will do. Some rinses contain active ingredients known for preventing bacterial plaque buildup. Others feature fluoride to fight decay. Some agents are particularly soothing to individuals who have sore areas of injury or disease in the mouth. A few brands tout whitening abilities. And pretty much all mouthwashes claim to freshen breath.
A mouthwash in no way is intended to serve as a replacement (or cover-up) for the necessary activities of brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing, in fact, outweigh mouthwashes in terms of effectiveness. A rinse is meant to provide auxiliary health benefits in addition to a solid routine of cleaning your teeth and gums.
Only by regularly using these rinses will you benefit from the properties of the active ingredients. This is why we at the dental office recommend daily use. A word of caution, however—each rinse should be used only as directed. Each mouthwash is for a unique purpose. Why not talk with your dentist? In doing so you will determine exactly what your dental health needs are, and how they can be met with the supplementary use of mouthwashes.
Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
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