Closeup of blue mouthwash in a plastic bottle being poured into a small white cup

Should I Use Mouthwash?

June 24, 2022 7:44 pm

Your at-home oral hygiene routine is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy smile and body. We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, brushing your tongue, and flossing every day. Mouthwash is an extra step that may be beneficial for certain patients. Here’s an overview of mouthwash to help you decide if you should add it or keep it in your oral hygiene routine.

Types of Mouthwash

Mouthwash is a specially-formulated oral rinse that is to be swished around in the mouth for a short period of time then spat out into the sink and not swallowed.

Not all mouthwash is designed for the same purpose. The two types of mouthwash are cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwash is mostly for freshening breath and brightening teeth. Depending on its ingredients, a therapeutic mouthwash can fight bacteria, tooth decay, gingivitis, halitosis, oral infections, mouth dryness, and more.

Should I Use Mouthwash?

Patients over 12 may benefit from rinsing with mouthwash occasionally or even daily. We recommend using an alcohol-free rinse to avoid the uncomfortable burning feeling and potential drying effects of a mouthwash that contains alcohol. Children under 6 should not use mouthwash. If a healthcare professional recommends it, children between 6-12 years old may use it with supervision.

Choose a mouthwash that addresses your specific dental needs. For example, an alcohol-free antibacterial rinse added to the reservoir of a water flosser can decrease your risk of gum disease. Swish with a remineralizing fluoride mouthwash if you struggle with tooth decay. A dry mouth rinse can lubricate your mouth and reduce tooth decay.

If you aren’t sure which type of mouthwash is right for you, speak with your dentist to get personalized recommendations that will positively impact your oral health. But keep in mind that no amount of mouthwash is a substitute for brushing and flossing your teeth every day! It is meant to be supplemental.

Maintain Routine Dental Visits!

In addition to maintaining a great oral hygiene routine, it’s also important to visit the dentist for twice-yearly cleanings and checkups. At Bolivar Smiles Dentistry, you can trust our team to help you keep dental issues at bay. We can also answer any questions you may have about your oral healthcare habits, including which mouthwashes is right for your smile. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment!

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