WHILE FLOSSING AND BRUSHING are necessary parts of keeping your teeth clean, mouthwash can be a bit more confusing. Is it actually helpful?
We have a lot of patients ask this, because it’s not that simple. It depends on a few factors.
Mouthwash Can Be Helpful In Managing Plaque
Several studies have shown that mouthwash can be helpful in minimizing plaque and keeping it from returning as quickly. In one study, 100% of subjects using mouthwash, in addition to their usual oral health routine, saw a reduction in signs of gingivitis.
So yes, mouthwash is beneficial to your oral health.
It May Also Be Recommended For Specific Problems
There are certain dental health issues for which we may recommend certain mouth rinses. For example, some prescription mouth rinses help with:
- Fluoride/Cavity repair
- Defense against bacterial infections (especially if you’ve just had certain treatments performed)
But Mouthwash Can Also Have Drawbacks
Some patients experience dry mouth as a result of mouthwash use—especially with alcohol-based mouthwashes. Dry mouth can be harmful to your oral health, increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
We have also known patients who can experience irritation in the form of canker sores, which may be linked to mouthwash usage.
If you’re experiencing either of these problems, mouthwash might just not be worth it for you—especially if you use mouthwash simply to keep your breath fresh.
Talk With Us About Any Specific Problems
If you experience any of the above issues, talk to us about mouthwash. Depending on the situation, we may recommend that you use certain kinds of mouth rinse, OR we may recommend that you skip mouthwash.
If you experience chronic bad breath, that’s certainly something you’ll want to talk with us about. Sometimes mouthwash simply masks a problem for which you actually need a professional’s help.
Let us know if you have any questions or comments.