Mouthwash, or mouth rinse, can be effective for many reasons. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) mouthwashes are often relied upon to tackle bad breath, to reinforce brushing and flossing, and to help rid the mouth of harmful bacteria.
Mouthwash contains active ingredients, such as fluoride, which help reduce plaque and significantly delay the development of tartar. Although rinsing with a mouthwash can help remove debris from the mouth and reduce the risk of infection and cavities, mouthwash should not be used as a substitute for brushing or flossing teeth.
- Improve the freshness of your mouth: Bad breath is often caused by the accumulation of residue in tiny crevices and folds in the tongue and teeth/gum line, or the presence of bacterial infection. When bacteria breaks down the residue and is allowed to colonize, it produces sulfur compounds to include hydrogen sulfide, which is the same chemical that gives rotten eggs their nasty odor. Mouth rinses can work by masking the odor, or by neutralizing the bacteria.
- Fight gum disease: In many cases, the key to effectively preventing gum disease is to stay on top of your dental hygiene habits. That means brushing teeth twice a day, flossing daily to remove debris between the teeth and around the gum line, and keeping up with your regular dental visits. But, you can improve your chances of staying disease-free by using an antimicrobial mouthwash to remove or neutralize disease-causing bacteria.
- Prevent cavities: Mouthwash and rinses that contain fluoride offer a fantastic opportunity to help protect your teeth’s enamel from tooth decay. Fluoride strengthens the teeth’s enamel and delays the buildup of tartar that causes decay.
Most mouthwash can be bought without a prescription. However, your dentist may prescribe a specific chemotherapeutic, or antibacterial mouth rinse to treat dental issues such as gingivitis, or advanced gum disease.
Caring for your teeth and gums should always include using dental floss and brushing your teeth. Dental well being can also be improved by keeping your tongue clean (gently brush it after brushing your teeth), drinking plenty of (sugarless) fluids, remaining tobacco-free, and maintaining a healthy diet.
Prevention is the key to long-term oral health. Contact Dr. Richard Stuart to schedule your next dental appointment.