Is Mouthwash Really Necessary?

June 25, 2022

person using mouthwashIt is overwhelming to walk down the oral care aisle with a plethora of products jumping at you. You likely straight shot to your go-to brands for toothpaste and floss but you are missing an important item. Mouthwash. But, do you actually need mouthwash?

The reality is if you care about your oral health and want to develop a healthy oral care routine then the answer is, yes.

Pros and Cons of Mouthwash

Mouthwash, or an oral rinse, can be categorized as cosmetic or therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwash assists with bad breath while therapeutic mouthwashes are more concentrated and provide more defense for your oral health.

Some key benefits of using mouthwash include:

● Killing bacteria
● Fighting gum disease
● Strengthening teeth
● Healing and preventing mouth sores
● Getting rid of particles in hard-to-reach places

There are minor hazards of using mouthwash daily. These can be mitigated or often avoided when used properly in tandem with regular dental appointments. Keep the following in mind:

● Consumption: It is advised mouthwash should be spat out after use and children under 6 years of age should not use it.
● Dry mouth: Excessive use of alcohol-based mouthwash may cause dry mouth. There are mouthwashes formulated to assist with the prevention of dry mouth and are alcohol-free.
● Conceal oral issues: If sores or bad breath persists you should book an appointment with your dentist.

How To Use Mouthwash

You may think using mouthwash is as simple as swishing it around and spitting it out but we have some best practices that will optimize the power of your routine.

● Always brush and floss your teeth before using mouthwash.
● Wait 30 minutes after brushing with fluoride toothpaste to allow teeth to absorb any fluoride before using your mouthwash.
● Use the cap to measure the amount of mouthwash to use.
● Swish around your mouth for at least 30 seconds. If you sing your ABCs you will reach 30 seconds by the time you sing “next time won’t you sing with me”.
● Spit it out.

How To Choose Your Mouthwash

You have to determine what you desire from your mouthwash and determine what brand fits your needs. The good news is the mouthwash market is vast and you are sure to find one that “fits”.

When shopping for a mouthwash you should consider:

● Teeth sensitivity
● Bad breath
● Gum issues
● Price
● ADA (American Dental Association) approval

Ingredients you should keep an eye out for when shopping:

Fluoride. Protects enamel.
Chlorhexidine. Prevents bad breath and kills bacteria.
Cetylpyridinium Chloride. Reduces plaque and controls gingivitis.
Essential Oil (menthol, thyme, eucalyptus). Has anti-fungal properties.
Carbamide Peroxide/Hydrogen Peroxide. Whitens teeth.

Now You Know

Using mouthwash should not be considered a replacement for your brushing and flossing routine. However, it should be added as a part of your daily routine as an aid to promoting healthy oral hygiene.

Have additional questions regarding your oral health? We are happy to assist you, contact us or schedule an appointment today.