A mouthwash can be good for your oral health, but it’s only beneficial if you brush and floss your teeth regularly. Advertisers often claim mouthwashes have oral health benefits. In fact, ones that contain fluoride do. Fluoride helps to prevent cavities during a one-minute rinse. The benefits are enhanced by saliva, which helps to wash off bacteria and contaminants.
Alcohol-based mouthwashes are effective at killing germs. They can prevent plaque and gingivitis, but experts warn of health problems that can be caused by consuming alcohol. Research has shown it can increase the risk of oral cancers. An alcohol-based mouthwash can also dry out your mouth.
Benefits of Using Mouthwash
A mouth rinse product can prevent tartar build up. Mouthwash helps fight plaque, which can turn into hardened tartar, so daily rinsing can be good for your oral health. Another benefit is whiter teeth; some mouthwashes have low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, which causes minimal bleaching and doesn’t hurt the gums.
Mouthwash: Only Effective with Good Oral Hygiene
If you use mouthwash, it is still recommended to brush twice a day with an ADA-approved, fluoride toothpaste. You should floss at least once daily, drink water throughout the day, and snack on hard foods such as carrots, apples, and celery that clean teeth and strengthen gums. Smoking or chewing tobacco can stain the teeth and be detrimental to oral health, so these should be avoided at all costs.
Read the Label
It’s important to be aware of the mouthwash you are using. If it is just cosmetic, it won’t do more than loosen food particles, reduce bacteria, and give you temporary relief from bad breath. A therapeutic rinse has active ingredients that enhance their effects. In addition to fluoride, they may have chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium, and essential oils.
Never try to ingest mouthwash. Swallowing it can cause vomiting, an upset stomach, and other problems. This is why mouthwash isn’t recommended for young children.
Could You Do Without Mouthwash?
Thorough brushing and flossing are most important for your oral health. Whether you use mouthwash or not depends on your personal situation. If you’re prone to cavities, periodontal disease, or have more bacteria in your mouth than most people, rinsing may be a good idea. In some cases, mouthwash can indeed be important for oral health. It all depends on your situation and the advice of your dentist.