Dental Tips Blog


Mouthwash: Read the List Before You Rinse!

Commercials make it look like a swish is all you need to keep your smile healthy and attractive! You might even think that a rinse is an acceptable substitute for brushing.

In reality, even that simple little bottle of mouthwash should be used with caution.

You should know what’s in a bottle of mouth rinse before you use it. Otherwise, it could be completely pointless. Here are some of the most common active ingredients in mouthwash:

Essential oils – these include menthol and eucalyptol. Essential oils are very effective against plaque bacteria.

Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) – much like essential oils, this antibacterial agent helps keep down the populations of bacteria that cause gum infection. On the downside, it can leave some odd brown stains on the teeth after a lot of use.

Fluoride – needed for strengthening tooth enamel against cavities, fluoride is often found in higher concentrations in rinses for kids. The sweet taste is usually irresistible, so make sure you are monitoring your kids’ use of mouthwash. Check that they don’t swallow it. Please note, not all mouth rinses contain fluoride – read your labels carefully.

Alcohol – that burn you may feel in some rinses usually comes from the alcohol content. Don’t let it fool you, however. While alcohol does help kill some germs, it’s not effective like essential oils or CPC.  It’s just in the mouthwash to help dissolve the active ingredients. If you suffer from dry mouth, avoid rinses containing alcohol as these will only make your condition worse. Watch out for rinses that contain little more than alcohol, coloring, and a sweetener; these might taste effective, but they won’t do much for you.

Ask your dentist whether you should use a mouthwash.

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202


Should You Use Mouthwash?

To rinse or not to rinse…

How can you decide whether or not to include a mouthwash in your oral hygiene routine? Here’s what you need to know:

The Plus Side to Mouthwash

A rinse can leave your mouth feeling fresh long after you’re done brushing. Mouthwashes contain a variety of ingredients to meet different needs:

  • Fluoride to strengthen teeth against cavities
  • Agents to prevent plaque buildup
  • Essential oils to kill bacteria
  • Hydrogen peroxide for whitening

When used to complement a routine of brushing and flossing, a rinse can help your teeth stay bright and clean and strong.

But a mouthwash isn’t a miracle cure.

What to Watch Out For

A few precautions are in order when it comes to choosing a mouthwash.

For starters, you should know that using a strong rinse can fool you. A quick swish can make you feel that your job is done. A freshener after a cup of coffee or a hasty rinse when you’re running late may seem like a suitable replacement for brushing.

And why bother with the floss? That burning rinse should kill all the bacteria between teeth, right?

Not necessarily.

Germs protect themselves with a slimy coating. Mouthwash can’t always bust through that shield to kill bacteria. You still need to floss!

Another caution is if you suffer from dry-mouth. A rinse that contains alcohol will only make your mouth drier. Reach for one that is alcohol-free.

Finally, be careful of kids using rinse. Young children may be tempted to drink it, especially the flavored, fluoride-rich formulas.

Talk with your dentist at your next dental checkup to learn more. He or she will help you determine which kind of rinse is right for you and your family.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618


“Should I Use Mouthwash Every Day?”

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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