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
Some of us build up more plaque than others, even if we brush frequently and eat a balanced diet. Our bodies may metabolize things more quickly than others, making it where we battle heavy plaque accumulation on a daily basis. If this sounds like you, here are a few things to try to limit or manage your buildup more effectively:
Consider Flossing Alternatives
Cleaning between your teeth is one of the most important things you do every day, but a lot of people really dislike flossing. Experiment with different types of flossers, floss picks, or try a water flosser. See which method is easiest for you to work into your daily routine rather than not trying anything at all. Some methods like water flossing are even more efficient than traditional floss!
Chew Xylitol Gum
Xylitol is a 5-carbon sugar that acts differently than other types of sugars. It actually prevents plaque from being able to accumulate or building up on the surface of the teeth. Some popular brands of gum are sweetened with xylitol and say so on the front of the packaging (just be sure to check, since not all “sugar free” gums contain xylitol.) Chewing a piece between meals or after snacks can improve your breath and prevent buildup from forming across your smile.
Drink Water Between Meals
What you drink can be adding to the plaque buildup that your mouth experiences during the day. Drinking coffee, tea, sodas or sports drinks between meals can contribute to the development of buildup on your teeth. Water is a natural lubricant that cleanses your mouth as you drink it and won’t add to your risk of cavities or plaque. Drink up!
Posted on behalf of:
139 Aliant Pkwy
Alexander City, AL 35010
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