You brush twice a day, floss once a day, and see your dentist twice a year. Do you still need to use mouthwash?
The answer: It depends. Here are a few ways mouthwash can be helpful:
- Helps fight cavities. A mouthwash with fluoride will help reduce cavities and periodontal disease. This
is particularly helpful if you drink bottled or purified water; neither include fluoride. In addition, the antibacterial quality in mouthwash help kill bacteria. The swishing action helps rinse away food particles.
- Freshen your breath. As the germs and food particles are washed away, so are many of the causes of bad breath. The scent of flavored mouthwashes can also mask odors from foods like garlic and onions that can’t be simply brushed away, since their smells are emitted through the lungs.
- Kills germs in hard to reach places. Swishing with mouthwash helps clean in between the teeth and in the gum area, where brushing and flossing may not reach.
- To fight gum disease. If you have dental sores, bleeding gums, or dental sensitivity ask us about special dental rinses we have to prevent periodontal disease and fight bacteria. These special mouth rinses are very helpful if brushing is painful or impossible after oral surgery.
- Prevents dry mouth. Many people with medical conditions or who are undergoing chemo therapy can benefit from mouthwashes (like Biotene) specially formulated for people with dry mouth. Dry mouth sufferers may want to avoid mouthwashes with alcohol, as it may dry out your mouth even more. There are also dry mouth sprays (like Oasis available at drug stores.) The sprays are small, so you can carry them in your pocket throughout the day.
There are many types of mouthwashes on the market. If you have questions about which type is best for you, feel free to ask us. Remember, the use of mouthwash does not replace good brushing and flossing habits and seeing your dentist every six months. However, mouthwash can be a pleasant, refreshing, and helpful addition to your daily oral health regimen.