Did you know that using a mouthwash is just as imperative as brushing and flossing if you want to maintain optimal oral health? It assists with the prevention of nasty cavities, helps promote gum health and helps reduce bad breath. If you have bad breath due to specific medications, plaque, smoking, or periodontal disease, mouthwash keeps your breath fresher, as it contains zinc. It also keeps bacteria at bay long after you have brushed, due to its anti-bacterial ingredients.

What to Consider When Selecting Your Mouthwash

  • Mouthwashes comprising alcohol can be detrimental to your health, so it’s best to select one with zero alcohol in it.
  • You should also use a natural type of mouthwash if you have undergone a dental procedure, or if your gums are prone to sensitivity.
  • For fresher breath, opt for the type that includes anti-plaque ingredients

Types of Mouthwashes

Mouthwashes can be either therapeutic, cosmetic or both, according to the FDA. They can also be classified according to their ingredients, making them either antiseptic, fluoride, natural, desensitizing or anti-plaque.

  • Cosmetic mouthwashes: You can purchase these fluoride enhanced ones over-the-counter. Their effectiveness usually lasts for up to three hours. If you have halitosis you should opt for these, as it leaves your mouth feeling fresher longer.
  • Therapeutic mouthwashes: These types of mouthwashes are used to combat several oral health conditions, such as bleeding gums. They are usually deemed as anti-cavity rinses that contain fluoride. Some also call them anti-gingivitis and anti-plaque rinses.
  • Combination mouthwashes: These types, as the name suggests, offers a combination of all the benefits of both therapeutic and cosmetic mouthwashes.
  • Fluoride mouthwashes: If you’re looking for a product to help combat tooth decay, you should choose this.
  • Natural mouthwashes: You could make your own mouthwash with salt and water. This is especially useful if you’ve had a tooth extraction.
  • Antiseptic mouthwashes: Opt for this if you’d like to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth, and if you want to eradicate bad breath.
  • Desensitizing mouthwashes: These can be used if you want to reduce tooth sensitivity, as it contains Arginine which closes off dentinal tubules. This sealing decreases tooth sensitivity.
  • Anti-plaque: Use this if you are prone to gingivitis, as it reduces the accumulation of plaque. Some of the ingredients to note here Be careful not to over-use, as this may cause tooth discoloration.

How to Use Mouthwashes

  • Ensure that you brush your teeth prior to using the product.
  • Swirl the mouthwash around every part of your mouth, for at least half a minute.
  • Don’t forget to rinse your mouth with water after you have finished.
  • Try not to ingest anything for at least half an hour after using your mouthwash.

using mouthwash

Side-effects of Mouthwash Over-Use

  • Tooth decay
  • Tingling on the inside of the cheeks and gums
  • Ulcers
  • Staining

Gable Sedation and Family Dentistry offers an array of dental care to patients in South Florida. Our services include cosmetic and sedation dentistry using the latest technology. We work with our patients to achieve optimal oral health and would be happy to answer any mouthwash questions you may have. Contact us today.