What Does Mouthwash Do and Is It Really Effective?

Featured Image

Mouthwashes earn the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of acceptance by demonstrating the efficacy and safety of their product. There are two types of mouthwash: therapeutic and cosmetic. Cosmetic mouthwash may temporarily control bad breath, or halitosis, by leaving behind a pleasant taste but have no benefit beyond that factor. Therapeutic mouthwashes are available both by prescription and over-the-counter, depending on the formulation. Therapeutic mouthwashes are generally more concentrated to fight cavities and plaque buildup, and help with bad breath.

You may be wondering, is mouthwash effective at preventing cavities? Should you be adding a mouthrinse into your daily routine of brushing and flossing? Read on to learn more from the dental experts at LANCO Dental Care in Lancaster, PA.

What does mouthwash do?

Is a mouthwash effective at preventing cavities or gum disease? Should you use one, especially if you have a dry mouth or sensitive teeth? With so many deep-whitening and plaque-busting claims out there, it is hard to know if a mouthwash will improve your oral health. Our Lancaster, PA patients come to us with great questions about adding an oral rinse into their daily routine. Most mouthwashes, or mouthrinses, freshen bad breath. However, some types or brands can help reduce plaque and gingivitis and prevent cavities by reducing the risk of tooth decay. Mouthwashes containing fluoride even help remineralize tooth enamel to keep it strong and teeth healthier.

Is mouthwash effective at helping my oral health?

If you choose to use a daily mouthrinse, it should be the cherry on top of your oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing is the most effective way to remove plaque and food particles. Using a good mouthwash afterward can amp up your dental health and take it to the next level. At LANCO Dental Care, we advise our patients to use a prescription or over-the-counter mouthrinse daily. Some of the benefits of using mouthwash are:

  • When combined with brushing and flossing, mouthwashes flush away any pesky particles left behind, reducing your chances of developing periodontal disease or tooth decay.
  • Fluoride is your friend and mouthwashes with this added ingredient support remineralization and healthy teeth. When combined with fluoride toothpaste for daily brushing, mouthwashes with fluoride are just another layer of defense against fighting cavities and tooth decay.
  • Using a mouthwash can help eliminate less-than-pleasant odors after eating and freshen your breath.

Are there any drawbacks to using a daily mouthwash?

There are no downfalls to adding a mouthwash to your daily dental routine, but it should never replace daily brushing and flossing. Using a mouthrinse should be an additional step to ramp up your oral health and keep your smile looking great. If you struggle with a dry mouth or canker sores, you may want to opt for an alcohol-free formula. Mouthwashes with an alcohol component can be dehydrating and irritate open oral sores. With those tips in mind, is mouthwash effective for kids? Our team at LANCO Dental Care recommends avoiding giving oral rinses to children under age six. Fluoride can be toxic when swallowed, so younger children may not understand how to rinse and gargle properly.

While therapeutic mouthwashes are designed to address numerous dental concerns that can improve your oral health, cosmetic mouthwashes can temporarily address bad breath. You can't deny that gargling for a few seconds that minty rinse does leave your breath feeling fresher, giving you a boost of confidence to start your day. However, if you choose to use a mouthrinse, it should be the final step of your daily dental routine after brushing and flossing. With many brands and flavors on the market today, ask our team at LANCO Dental Care for advice on choosing the one that is right for you. If you need a family dentist in Lancaster, PA, contact us or schedule online your next dental appointment at LANCO Dental Care today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.