How to Choose the Right Mouthwash?
A mouthwash, also referred to as an oral rinse, is an antiseptic liquid used to fight halitosis and kill harmful bacteria in the oral cavity responsible for tooth decay. Mouthwash is not used as a substitute for regular teeth brushing or dental flossing but rather to boost your oral hygiene. You should note that different mouthwashes contain different ingredients, and not all will strengthen teeth. Read to find out how to select the right type of mouthwash.
How Mouthwash Works
Research has shown that when the use of mouthwash is tied to a good dental health hygiene routine, it helps prevent plaque and gum disease.
Mouthwashes contain antiseptic ingredients such as eucalyptol, alcohol, and menthol that kill harmful oral bacteria. Since mouthwash is in liquid form, the ingredients easily get to the hard-to-reach areas and into crevices eliminating any filmy bacteria collecting there.
Some types of mouthwash contain fluoride, a mineral that helps fight dental cavities by strengthening the enamel. The fluoride and other ingredients coat the dental enamel making it stronger and plaque-resistant. Oral rinses containing fluoride are almost similar to those you get at the dentist’s office after professional teeth cleaning. They only have differences in the number of fluoride levels, whereas the one found at the dentist has much higher levels.
How to Correctly Use Mouthwash
If our dentist at Knight Dental Care recommends that you use mouthwash in your oral hygiene routine, you are only likely to get the most benefits from it when you correctly use it. Here are some key points from experts at our dental clinic in Little Rock that will help you get the maximum benefit from your mouth rinse.
- First, thoroughly clean and floss your teeth
- Read the label with the use instructions on your mouthwash
- Measure the correct amount of mouthwash as instructed by the dentist or manufacturer
- Set the time, swish and gargle for 30 seconds
- Spit out the mouthwash
Tips for Choosing the Best Mouthwash
Oral rinses are usually formulated to combat a variety of oral health issues, such as dry mouth, bad breath, sensitivity, cavities, and gum disease. When selecting an oral rinse for use, there is usually no best type of mouthwash to pick, but what is encouraged is choosing the one that best suits your oral health needs. For instance:
- Having a dry mouth? Pick alcohol-free
Alcohol is the commonest ingredient found in oral rinses, but some people choose to avoid it because alcohol is an irritant. For an individual with a dry mouth because of cancer treatment or medications, using a mouthwash containing alcohol will lead to irritation of oral tissues and more dryness. An alcohol-free oral rinse is best recommended.
- Need to get rid of plaque? Avoid cosmetic oral rinses.
Typically, there are two main types of oral rinse; therapeutic and cosmetic. Therapeutic mouthwashes have clinical benefits, such as treating gingivitis and preventing cavities. Cosmetic oral rinses are mostly used to freshen your breath. If you are looking for an oral rinse to control dental plaque, look for a germ-fighting, antiseptic, or antimicrobial mouthwash. They constitute ingredients like essential oils and chlorhexidine that kill the bacteria that cause plaque formation and tartar buildup.
- Want to prevent staining? Watch out for CPC
There are various causes of teeth stains other than food and beverages. One such cause is cetylpridinium chloride (CPC), an antibacterial fluoride compound added to most mouthwashes. Although it is effective in combating bad breath, it tends to stick to crevices and dental margins, leaving behind brownish stains. It’s not that the staining is permanent or harmful, but most users find this undesirable. To brighten your smile, you can use whitening mouthwashes or book a professional whitening appointment with our Little Rock dentistry.
Mouth Wash Precautions
Most oral rinse products contain high fluoride and alcohol volumes, which can have a negative impact on your health if ingested in large amounts. This is the reason why dental experts do not recommend oral rinses for children below six years of age. Adults should also avoid swallowing mouthwash.
In addition, if you happen to have oral lesions or open sores in the oral cavity, it is best to first seek advice from a dentist near you before trying any mouthwash. This is because sometimes oral cavity sores can result from an underlying health problem, and dousing these sores with antiseptic and fluoride can do more harm.