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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