A thorough oral hygiene process is vital to maintain the health of your teeth. Mouthwash can be a particularly useful addition to your routine, though it is not a sufficient method when used alone. Many people fail to understand the many benefits of mouthwash, as there are many rumors about harmful side effects of regular mouthwash use. Mouthwash can improve your oral health in an array of ways, though it should never be used as a substitute for regularly and thoroughly brushing and flossing. It is also important to regularly obtain cleanings from a dentist to ensure that your teeth remain in superior condition while simultaneously catching potential issues in the early stages. This should be done every 6 months or however often your care provider recommends. Here at Mountain View Pediatric Dentistry, we strive to provide superior cleaning services for your children.
Benefits of Mouthwash
Mouthwash can provide many benefits when added to an effective oral hygiene routine. The specific benefits will depend primarily on the ingredients that are present in the mouthwash. Fluoride can bind to the teeth, which helps to prevent teeth from demineralizing. This can go a long way toward preventing cavities and strengthening the enamel of the teeth. Enamel inevitably wears down over time. Using fluoride infused mouthwash can minimize these negative effects. Mouthwash that contains hydrogen peroxide can help to whiten the teeth and ensure a luminescent smile. Antibacterial mouthwash can help to kill bacteria residing in the mouth. Bacteria are the root cause of many oral health concerns. Mouthwash with antibacterial properties can fight gum disease, as well as eliminate bad breath.
Certain types of mouthwash can help to prevent plaque build-up, though it is important to note that mouthwash will not remove plaque that is already present on the teeth. This can only be done with thorough brushing and flossing, as well as dental visits. If mouthwash has low alcohol content, it can be used to reduce the irritation from canker sores. High alcohol content may exacerbate the issue. Any kind of mouthwash is a liquid, which makes it effective at removing food particles from places a toothbrush may be unable to reach. Removing these excess food particles can be vital in protecting the health of your teeth.
Disadvantages of Mouthwash
There are a few risks to be aware of when using mouthwash on a regular basis. Understanding these risks can help you to minimize their impact. Mouthwash that contains a significant amount of alcohol can cause irritation to the mouth, especially if canker sores are already present. Many types of mouthwash contain ingredients that are harmful if ingested. For this reason, children under the age of 6 should not use mouthwash. Mouthwash, particularly mouthwash with high alcohol content, can cause the mouth to dry out, which creates a superior breeding ground for bacteria. This can lead to a plethora of other issues in the mouth. Certain ingredients in mouthwash can interact with food additives, which can ultimately stain the teeth.
Another concern with mouthwash is that some people may think that it can be used as a substitute for brushing or flossing. Each of these processes in an oral hygiene routine provides different benefits to the teeth. When combined, they can effectively protect the teeth, but mouthwash alone is no substitute for brushing or flossing your teeth.
The best mouthwash for you will depend on your teeth and your situation. There are two categories of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwash is generally used to mask the presence of bad breath, though it doesn’t help deal with underlying causes of bad breath. Cosmetic mouthwash is effective for quickly freshening up your breath throughout the day. Therapeutic mouthwashes are commonly used to treat health concerns or kill bacteria in the mouth. There are many different therapeutic mouthwashes available, because there are many different conditions that can impact the health of the teeth.
The conditions that therapeutic mouthwash is intended to treat will dictate the best mouthwash for your needs. Mouthwashes that contain fluoride are able to strengthen the teeth and minimize the risk of cavities. To whiten the teeth, an individual should use mouthwash that contains hydrogen peroxide as one of its active ingredients. For particularly sensitive teeth, an individual should ensure that they use alcohol-free mouthwash to minimize potential discomfort. Mouthwash with chlorhexidine gluconate is generally prescribed by a dentist. This kind of mouthwash helps to treat gingivitis, as well as reduce plaque build-up on the teeth.
Alcohol Free Fluoride Mouthwash
In many situations, an alcohol free fluoride mouthwash is an extremely effective choice. Many of the disadvantages of mouthwash, such as dry mouth or irritation, are caused by the presence of alcohol in the mouthwash. Using alcohol free mouthwash will prevent these issues from occurring, which can maximize the benefits of mouthwash. Additionally, fluoride is one of the most effective tools to prevent cavities from forming. Fluoride can strengthen the enamel over the teeth and minimize the impact of demineralization. However, you should also consider that fluoride is found in most local water sources. If you regularly drink fluoride-infused water, you may opt for a different type of mouthwash.
Mouthwash can be a valuable tool to add to your regular oral hygiene routine. However, it is incredibly important to regularly brush your teeth, floss them, and visit your dentist twice annually. For effective cleaning, brushing should occur twice a day for two minutes at a time. Flossing should be done at least once. Visiting a dentist regularly can help to remove plaque and stains from the teeth. It can also help to catch potential oral health issues in the early stages, before they can escalate. Despite the fact that children’s teeth aren’t permanent, it is incredibly important to take proper care of them. This will help to establish a solid oral hygiene routine, as well as enable the permanent teeth to grow in as healthily as possible. To learn more about the benefits of mouthwash, contact our experts at Mountain View Pediatric Dentistry today!