Should You Use Mouthwash?

Sticking to a complete regime for oral hygiene is sure to get your teeth whiter and your smile healthier.  Complete oral care includes brushing, of course, along with flossing. But what about mouthwash? While using mouthwash isn’t an essential part of oral hygiene at home, it can be a nice addition to your routine.

Mouthwash can help keep your mouth clean, but it can also have some adverse effects, depending on what rinse you use and when you use it. It is also important to remember that using mouthwash should never be used as a substitute for a good brushing and flossing routine.

  • Combating Bad Breath

Bad breath has many different causes.  Even if you brush your teeth regularly, you could be forgetting your tongue, which is a significant source of bacteria which cause bad breath.  Depending on your biological makeup, you may even still have bad breath after a very systematic brushing and flossing.

However, though using mouthwash can temporarily get rid of your bad breath, alcohol-based mouthwashes can cause irritation to sensitive areas of the mouth like the tongue and gum lines.  Mouthwash should not be used by children below the ages of twelve, since many of them contain fluoride. Too much fluoride can affect the growth and development of adult teeth.

  • Whiter Teeth

Many mouthwashes have ingredients in them specifically to whiten teeth. Regularly using this type of mouthwash can make a difference in getting your teeth white and keeping them that way.  Mouthwash also helps prevent plaque, tartar, and other buildups that contribute to staining your teeth.  It also helps prevent the early stages of gum disease.

  • How to Best Use Mouthwash

It is important to know that using mouthwash right after brushing can wash away some of the beneficial aspects of the toothpaste left behind.  It is better to use mouthwash intermittently throughout the day, such as after meals – and not right after brushing.  This helps ensure that you receive smaller doses of fluoride to strengthen your teeth over the course of the day instead of all at once.

Do not neglect your oral health until it becomes a problem in your life.  Doing everything you can, from brushing and flossing to using mouthwash, can help you keep your mouth in great shape for your entire life. For professional help in maintaining your oral health, contact Beechgrove Family Dental today.