Posted on 03/15/2018 · Posted in Health Information from Affiliated Dentists

Mouthwash: The Pros and Cons

According to the American Dental Association, dentists should advice each individual patient as to whether or not they should use mouthwash on a daily basis. But why do we even need to use mouthwash? How does it help us maintain our oral health care?

Why Do We Use Mouthwash?

There are many reasons people use mouthwash:

  • freshen breath
  • prevent/control tooth decay
  • reduce and break up plaque
  • prevent/reduce gingivitis
  • slow the speed of tartar buildup

As of 2018, there are multiple different brands of mouthwash, and each company manufactures and sells different kinds of rinses. Some contain fluoride, others are alcohol-free to stop the intense burn people often feel when using a mouthwash. There are ones with chemicals added to prevent bacteria growth, and some are all natural (herbal). Regardless of the type you choose for you and your family, it is important to know the pros and cons of mouthwash.

The Pros

Help With Cavities

Many mouthwashes, if used as recommended, can help prevent or lessen cavities, especially those with fluoride added.

Fight Gum Disease

Mouthwash can help reduce inflammation of your gum tissue. As stated before, it helps fight bacteria, which causes the inflammation. Those with chlorhexidine has been known to help prevent and lessen periodontitis.

The Cons

Mouth Sore Irritant

The majority of mouthwashes have alcohol in them, which, especially ones with a higher concentration, tends to burn. If you have any cuts or sores in your mouth, using a mouthwash can greatly irritate them. In fact, it can not only hurt them, but keep them from healing as quickly as they would.

Covers Up Bad Breath

Many people think mouthwash cures halitosis, but in reality, it simply creates short-lived fresh breath. Also, patients who do not take care of their teeth and gums, who do not brush and floss regularly, and those who have many oral health issues, have issues with bad breath. Depending on how bad their oral health is, mouthwash might not even be enough to cover up the smell.

Affiliated Dentists Recommends Using Mouthwash

We do recommend that you use the appropriate mouthwash on a regular basis to help prevent cavities and gum inflammation. Schedule an appointment with us, and we can let you know which mouthwash is right for your oral health needs!

Make sure to look for the ADA Seal to ensure your mouthwash has been evaluated and approved!

*It’s important to know that mouthwash never can replace brushing and flossing, it is merely an adjunct to those two. Always brush at least twice a day and floss daily.