If you’ve ever walked the oral care aisle of any drugstore, you know that there are many different types of mouthwash. Some tout their germ-killing abilities, others emphasize their fluoride content, and some claim to whiten teeth while freshening the breath. These are all great benefits, but Allen Park Dental Care asks: will they help meet your dental health needs?
Many individuals wonder if daily mouthwash should be part of their routine. Brushing and flossing are the two important habits that have the greatest impact on dental health, so if you’re doing these two things, is mouthwash needed?
When our patients ask about mouthwash, we tell them that as long as they follow the instructions for use on the bottle, mouthwash may slightly benefit dental health, even if it doesn’t live up to every promise as advertised. Rinsing with a mouthwash that contains fluoride can’t hurt your teeth, but allowing a bit of diluted toothpaste to stay on tooth surfaces after brushing probably has the same benefit.
Men and women who suffer from bad breath often believe that mouthwash can solve the problem. Actually, mouthwashes that contain alcohol can worsen the problem because they can cause dry mouth—a condition that can worsen bad breath. Mouthwashes without alcohol are commonly more efficient for freshening breath. These products are often called fluoride rinses.
If you have chronic bad breath, however, you should have your teeth examined for plaque build-up. No amount of mouthwash can remedy a mouth full of plaque. If your teeth and gums are healthy and you still suffer from bad breath, it’s important to ascertain the cause. Bad breath can be an indication of a physical condition, so see your doctor soon.
Bottom line? Never substitute mouthwash for proper brushing and flossing. And if you use mouthwash, choose a brand that contains fluoride and no alcohol.
At Allen Park Dental Care, we provide trusted dental care such as family and cosmetic dentistry. Make an appointment with us today.
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