Does a Rinse or Mouthwash Help?

October 1, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

Have you ever wondered, “Do I need to use mouthwash?”

These days, any grocery store dental aisle will be stocked full of different rinses and mouthwashes. They come in all different flavors, have different purposes and contain different ingredients.

If you have never used a mouthwash before, you may be curious about how they work, and whether one might be right for you. Read on to learn more about the dos and don’ts of using a mouthwash, and for an answer to the question: Do I need to use mouthwash?

  • Look for ingredients: Different mouthwashes contain different ingredients, so it’s important to know what you’re hoping to achieve before selecting one. Fluoride, one of the most common ingredients, will help prevent tooth decay and cavities. If you want to get rid of bad breath, look for a mouthwash with astringent salt, odor neutralizers or antimicrobials. And if you’re looking to whiten your teeth, there is a whole range of options for you available from different brands. Most whitening mouthwashes will include peroxide.
  • Seal of approval: It is important to keep in mind that not all mouthwashes are created equal. The American Dental Association (ADA) will put its seal of approval on products that are proven to work and be safe for your teeth. The ADA seal can be found on general-purpose mouthwashes, as well as on those that treat a specific condition, such as whitening washes. Even organic and store-brand mouthwashes can get the ADA seal.
  • Don’t forget to brush: If you think using a good mouthwash is an easy replacement for brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, think again—there is no substitute for brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing at least once a day. Think of mouthwash as an extra step you can use to protect your dental health, or as a quick fix in the middle of the day when you might not have time to brush but still want to have fresh breath.
  • Swish, swish: Once you have selected the right mouthwash for you, it’s time to learn how to use it. Put the recommended amount in your mouth, and swish it around so it reaches every corner of your mouth. Do this for at least 30 seconds, and no longer than a minute. Then spit out the mouthwash—don’t swallow it, as that may not be safe.
  • See a dentist: You may have started using mouthwash because you wanted your gums to stop bleeding, or for your teeth to get whiter. If it’s been a few weeks and your situation has not improved, it’s time to make an appointment with a professional. Remember: a mouthwash is no replacement for brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings and checkups.

Now that you understand why you need to use mouthwash and how it works, feel free to pick one up the next time you’re at the grocery store. And if you have any other questions about mouthwash or dental care in general, feel free to make an appointment with Modern Smiles Family Dentistry today.

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