What mouthwash should I use?
November 29, 2022
Are you thinking of using mouthwash? The choices can seem unending and confusing. But taking the time to understand your options will help you identify the right product to invest in.
Proper brushing and flossing coupled with mouth rinsing can boost your oral hygiene routine. But not all mouthwashes are equal.
Let's talk about tips on how to select mouthwash. Before that, here's some information about how mouthwash works.
What is a mouthwash product?
Mouthwash is an oral care product available in various formulations.
It's swished in the mouth for a certain period and spit out afterward. Some claim to help fight bad breath, while some are formulated to get rid of harmful bacteria in the mouth or reduce the risks of gum disease.
Mouthwash can supplement an ongoing dental treatment plan, but it doesn't provide a permanent or long-term solution. It's not a replacement either for your toothbrush, dental floss, or medication.
The best way to know which product is appropriate for your dental health needs is to seek advice from your dentist.
Questions to ask when choosing a mouthwash
Answer the following questions to help narrow down your options for a mouthwash product.
- What's your purpose?
Mouthwash can be cosmetic or therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes can help with bad breath but provide no other dental benefits.
Therapeutic mouthwash, on the other hand, contains active ingredients that do more than freshen breath. For example, they can help get rid of bacteria in the mouth that contribute to the unpleasant smell.
Choose mouthwash depending on your goals. You may need a product to help keep your breath smelling fresh, especially if you often interact with people for work or business.
If your goal is to address a specific oral condition, then a therapeutic mouthwash can be more suitable. There are mouth rinse options for those prone to developing tartar or tooth decay. Some products help minimize stains on the enamel.
- Who is going to use it?
If you're thinking of buying mouthwash for children, seek advice from your dentist first. Mouthwash cannot be swallowed, so it isn't suitable for young children under the age of 6 or those who cannot spit yet.
Also, too much fluoride exposure can have side effects on the teeth. If fluoride-containing mouthwash is used for an extended period, white lines or streaks may appear on the enamel.
Supervise children when gargling to ensure they don't swallow the mouthwash and follow product recomm
- What is the status of my oral health?
Find out what oral care products you need. Talk to your dentist about your dental care routine and concerns.
Depending on your diagnosis, you may not even need a mouth rinse. It could be optional on your part, and proper usage may be all that you need to keep in mind.
If your dentist finds mouthwash a worthwhile addition to your oral cleaning habits, they'll also discuss specific features to look out for.
Alcohol mouthwash isn't ideal for those with a dry mouth as it can irritate mouth tissue and worsen the condition. Mouthwash with extra fluoride content can be good for those prone to cavities.
- What are the ingredients present?
Chlorhexidine-containing mouthwashes can help reduce the bacterial load in the mouth.
They can be used before or following procedures or if a patient is having difficulties brushing. They can also help prevent infections and manage severe halitosis. However, the downside is that they can result in brown stains on teeth or oral appliances, such as dentures.
If you're concerned about tooth discoloration and are only looking for a cosmetic mouth rinse, you might want to skip products with chlorhexidine.
Reading mouthwash labels is good practice. Be sure the mouthwash isn't too strong for the tastebuds or won't aggravate any symptoms you may have.
Find out as well if the manufacturer's claims are true or science-backed. You may also check for products with a seal of approval from dental authorities.
Talk to a dentist today for mouthwash suggestions
Leaving your mouth fresh, slowing down plaque build-up, and minimizing tooth staining are some of the benefits of gargling with mouthwash.
Consider getting travel-sized options to get a feel of the product. And remember that excessive and improper use can have an adverse impact, even if it's recommended by professionals.
Do you need advice for your dental home care routine? Contact us today to book your consultation with the dentist. We're more than happy to assist you.