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Does Mouthwash Actually Help Dental Health?

Brunette woman wearing a pink cardigan smiles as she leans sideways against a brick wall painted 2 colors of blue

We encourage all of our patients to be conscientious of their dental hygiene every day by brushing twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing at least once a day. Our team has been asked many times if we also recommend rinsing with a mouthwash after brushing and flossing. So we’ve put together a helpful guide to four potential benefits of choosing a mouthwash that addresses your unique dental needs!

Benefits of Mouthwash

  1. Reduce Plaque Buildup & Improve Gum Health
  2. Certain mouthwashes will help combat plaque accumulation and subsequent gum irritation. Untreated gum irritation leads to gum inflammation, or gingivitis. Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, can progress to periodontitis and even advanced periodontitis, causing bad breath, infection, and tooth loss. If you have bleeding gums when you floss or get your teeth cleaned, you may have gingivitis. After brushing and flossing, swish with an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash to help prevent the buildup of plaque and the progression of gum disease. Many anti-plaque/anti-gingivitis mouthwashes contain antimicrobial ingredients like cetylpyridinium, chlorhexidine, and essential oils.

  3. Freshen Breath
  4. We all desire fresh breath, particularly after a pungent meal. If you’re looking to quickly tame your dragon breath, mouthwash can effectively kill off an offensive odor, leaving you feeling minty fresh. But it should be noted that although mouthwash can freshen breath temporarily, if you have a prolonged malodor or a chronic bad taste in your mouth, this could be an indicator of tooth decay, gum disease, an underlying medical condition, or even an unhealthy lifestyle habit, like tobacco use. Notify us if you struggle with chronic bad breath so we can help discover its cause!

  5. Strengthen Teeth
  6. Rinses that contain fluoride strengthen teeth through remineralization. Incorporating a fluoridated mouthwash would be especially helpful if you have weakened enamel from chronic teeth clenching or acidic dietary choices.

  7. Improve Dry Mouth Symptoms
  8. If you have dry mouth, it’s particularly important to avoid using a mouthwash that contains alcohol, which has a drying effect on the mouth. Instead, consider trying out an oral rinse specially formulated to fight the symptoms of dry mouth, such as Colgate® Hydris™ Oral Rinse or Biotène® Dry Mouth Oral Rinse.

Ask Us for Recommendations!

CarolinasDentist can assist you if you need advice on choosing the mouthwash that is best for your smile goals. Each patient is different so we are happy to recommend products that we feel are perfect for your individual needs. Contact us for mouthwash recommendations, to learn additional oral hygiene tips, or to schedule your next checkup.

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