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You already brush twice a day, floss every day, and you want to know–is there anything else you could be doing? Though not a substitute for brushing and interdental cleaning, mouthwash (also called mouthrinse) can be a good addition to the oral health routine of some people.
When used in addition to brushing and flossing, mouthwash can help reduce cavities, prevent or control tooth decay, fight gingivitis, reduce plaque build-up, and combat halitosis. It does this by cleaning between teeth and in areas of the mouth your toothbrush cannot reach.
There are two different kinds of mouthwash: therapeutic and cosmetic. Therapeutic mouthwashes contain active ingredients that kill the bacteria causing cavities, and therefore may help prevent cavities, plaque buildup, gum disease or gingivitis, and bad breath. Cosmetic mouthwashes may temporarily freshen breath, but they do not kill bacteria or help prevent cavities and other mouth diseases.
Some have asked “When is the best time to use mouthwash?” The answer is, “It depends on the mouthwash.” There are mouthwashes for specific tasks, such as adding fluoride, killing bacteria, or freshening breath after brushing. Some are formulated to loosen plaque before brushing. Read labels carefully, and ask your dentist about your specific health needs.
Mouthwash is designed for teens and adults; do not give mouthwash to children under 6 years of age. Do not swallow large amounts of mouthwash, as it can lead to nausea, vomiting, or intoxication (due to the alcohol content of some rinses). Be aware that many mouthrinses contain high amounts of alcohol. If you need to avoid alcohol for any reason, talk to your dentist for a non-alcohol option right for you.
Though some therapeutic mouthwashes are prescription-only, many can be purchased over-the-counter. Be sure to look for the American Dental Association seal of approval on over-the-counter products!
Call Matthew Jelinek at 952.233.1020 today and talk to your dentist about which mouthwash is right for you!