Do you use mouthwash in your dental routine? Many people use it daily, but do not actually know if it is effective in eliminating any bacteria in their mouth. So, what exactly is it and does it work? We are delving deep into mouthwash to explore options that help you keep your teeth clean!

What Is Mouthwash?

There are two kinds of mouthwash, which are cosmetic and therapeutic. You more than likely use the therapeutic kind, which you can obtain in a store or with a prescription. Therapeutic types promise to kill bacteria that your toothbrush is unable to reach and leave your breath smelling minty fresh!

The main ingredients in your mouthwash may include:

  • Fluoride
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Peroxide
  • Cetylpyridinium chloride
  • Essential oils

These ingredients help reduce gingivitis and plaque, whiten your teeth, prevent tooth decay, and make your breath smell better. Mouthwash can also be used to treat several different diseases and oral hygiene issues including pain relief, dry socket, and cancer in the mouth.

How to Choose a Mouthwash

The ingredients and effectiveness will vary. Many people just choose based on a preferred brand and flavor, but there is a better way to make your pick work for you. You will want to consider what you want to accomplish and then check out the ingredients while you’re shopping.

 Here are some things to keep in mind while you search for your mouthwash:

  • Dry Mouth Troubles: mouthwash containing alcohol can make dry mouth worse because it promotes drying. If you suffer from frequent dry mouth, you will want to check ingredients to make sure that your pick is free of alcohol.
  • Healthy Gums: if you are worried about gum disease, check out chlorhexidine. This ingredient helps prevent gum disease. However, we suggest you always consult your dentist if you are worried about serious conditions such as gum disease.
  • Tooth Decay: if you want to help prevent tooth decay, look for an option with fluoride! Just make sure you rinse and spit. It’s important not to swallow because ingesting too much fluoride can be toxic.
  • Bad Breath: if your main goal is just to cure some bad breath issues, then you should prioritise the smell and flavor.

Will Mouthwash Enhance Your Oral Health?

The short answer is yes! Using mouthwash daily will improve oral health by reaching the tough spots that your toothbrush may miss. It will help prevent gingivitis, reduce plaque, and make your breath minty fresh.

If you do not already, we suggest working mouthwash into your daily oral hygiene routine. But remember, it should not be your only line of defense. It is most effective when used alongside tooth brushing and flossing. You should always brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day.

Are There Any Risks? 

While mouthwash can be beneficial when used regularly, you may want to look out for some concerns. Most of these risks are associated with the alcohol in mouthwash.

You may want to consider:

  • Sensitivity: alcohol can break down mucus in your mouth, which makes your teeth vulnerable and leaves them defenseless. Without this mucus, you may experience tooth sensitivity.
  • Budget: consider if the benefits of mouthwash are worth the financial cost. Brushing and flossing may be enough to keep your oral hygiene in pristine shape.
  • Oral cancer: it is not an indisputable fact, however, some believe that alcohol is linked with cancer of the mouth. We suggest you consult your dentist if your mouthwash contains alcohol, and consider switching to an alcohol-free option.
  • Toothpaste effectiveness: some doctors suggest that toothpaste and mouthwash may cancel each other out. We suggest waiting at least thirty minutes in between using mouthwash and brushing your teeth.

With these things in mind, consider if you want to use mouthwash. There are many benefits! If you are considering using it, talk to your dentist about the best options for you.