Many people wonder, “Should I use mouthwash?” as part of their regular dental hygiene. While advertisements for various brands and types of mouthwash—also called mouthrinse—bombard us each day, it can be hard to determine if using a mouthrinse is effective. The answer is it depends on the type of mouthrinse.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), mouthwashes are broken into two categories—cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthrinse can temporarily control bad breath, but don’t have any benefit beyond that temporary effect. Alternatively, therapeutic mouthwash contains active ingredients such as cetyl pyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine, essential oils, fluoride, and peroxide that help control or reduce bad breath, gingivitis, plaque, and tooth decay. Therefore, the use of therapeutic mouthwash can be an effective tool in your daily dental hygiene routine.
Mouthwash can be beneficial to treat several kinds of dental conditions including dry socket after tooth extractions, dry mouth, plaque and gingivitis, tooth decay, and whitening.
Dry Sockets can occur after tooth extractions (usually the third molar (wisdom tooth). The fibrin clot that forms after surgery can get dislodged which can cause pain around the extraction site. Prescription mouthwash can help reduce the risk of the clot dislodging.
People who suffer from dry mouth are at a greater risk for tooth decay because saliva production helps prevent cavities. Mouthwash that is alcohol-free and contains enzymes and cellulose derivatives can help with this issue.
Plaque and gingivitis are a big part of the dental hygiene battle. Mouthwashes with antimicrobial ingredients help reduce plaque and gingivitis in combination with regular brushing and flossing.
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in your mouth that damage enamel and cause openings or holes in the tooth. Mouthwash with fluoride can promote remineralization and help prevent cavities.
Whitening mouthwashes often contain peroxide and can over time help reduce staining on the teeth. Sometimes whitening ingredients can cause tooth sensitivity so be sure to keep that in mind if you have sensitive teeth.
Regardless of the dental issue you are experiencing, choose a mouthwash that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This seal ensures the consumer that the product they are purchasing does what it claims to do and is FDA approved. Remember, however, that mouthwashes are only part of the daily dental hygiene process and cannot be relied on alone for dental care. Regular brushing and flossing are keys to keeping your mouth healthy.
Reflection Ridge Dental can help you improve your oral health through regular cleanings and offers laser decay removal. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.