Mouthwash or mouth rinse is often a part of our oral hygiene routine each day. Other than judging it by its taste or flavor, most of us don’t put a lot of thought into the type of rinse we’re using. There are some important things to know about mouth rinse before you find the one that will help your smile the most.
Mouth rinse does not replace other oral hygiene steps.
Unfortunately, mouth rinses do not mean you can skip brushing or flossing. Rinses are a nice additional step when they are applied to clean, plaque-free teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing should be done first for the mouth rinse to really do its job.
Fluoride isn’t always included.
A fluoridated rinse can help restore weakened enamel that is beginning to develop cavities. Many major brands do not include fluoride in their rinses. Your dentist can offer a fluoridated rinse that’s perfect for sensitive, weak teeth, or for patients with braces.
Some rinses contain alcohol. This can dry out the oral tissues and is problematic for patients that constantly battle dry mouth.
Essential oils boost breath for hours.
Essential oils are a natural antimicrobial and also freshen breath. Some people prefer to purchase blends specifically for oral health, and place one or two drops in a cup of water to use for hours of fresher breath.
From time to time, patients will require a prescription strength mouth rinse to fight severe gum disease and tooth decay. Due to the concentration of medication, these rinses do not have an equivalent product that is available at the supermarket. Ask your dentist which type of rinse you should be using, if any at all!
Posted on behalf of Find Local Dentists
With so many oral care products available, a lot of people prefer to just ask their hygienist or dentist about which brands or formulas are best for them to use. Mouth rinse is something that a lot of people like to use because it helps freshen their breath and make their mouths feel cleaner. But does the kind of mouth rinse really matter?
Over the counter mouth rinse typically falls into one of two categories: fluoride rinses, and antiseptic rinses. Fluoride rinses can be very effective at deterring tooth decay and sensitivity, by adding minerals back into the tooth surface that is weaker and susceptible to cavities. Although these rinses are primarily targeted toward children, they are appropriate for adult use as well. If patients have a high risk of developing tooth decay, then fluoride rinses are an excellent choice that can help reduce the need for dental restorations including dental fillings and crowns.
Antiseptic rinses that are available over the counter are usually made with essential oils or sometimes alcohol as key ingredients. Essential oils naturally freshen breath and can benefit the health of the gums to a certain extent. Unfortunately, alcohol in these rinses may cause some people to experience dry mouth, or even mask the symptoms of chronic gum disease rather than improve it.
Ultimately, mouth rinses can be an additional treatment for oral health, but not a replacement for key steps like flossing or brushing. Rinses do not physically remove plaque biofilm under the gumlines where gum disease starts. For chronic gum infections, a prescription rinse may be recommended in conjunction with professional care. Be sure that you’re not using your mouth rinse as a mask, but rather as an additional therapy to your daily preventive routine.
Posted on the behalf of Dr. Sarah Roberts, Crabapple Dental
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