Mouthwash: What You Should Know About What Goes in Your Mouth

Dentists often recommend brushing and flossing twice daily, but including mouthrinse in your daily routine can be vital to not only a fresh mouth but also to a healthy mouth. A mouthrinse may reduce plaque and tartar build-up, reduce periodontal diseases, refresh breath, and even whiten teeth. There are many factors to consider prior to purchasing and using mouthwash, such as the age of the user, the purpose for using mouthrinse, and any potential issues with products. To begin, it is important to distinguish between the terms mouthwash and mouthrinse, according to the American Dental Association. Patients use mouthwash after daily brushing and flossing, which often contains higher amounts of alcohol for a fresh breath feeling. Mouthrinse, on the other hand, benefits patients when used prior to brushing and flossing, and helps to control bad breath and prevent plaque buildup.

Another important distinguishing factor is cosmetic mouthwash in comparison to therapeutic mouthrinse. Cosmetic mouthwash helps to refresh breath temporarily but oftentimes fails to reduce the potential for gingivitis or to treat bad breath-causing bacteria. Therapeutic mouthrinse not only refreshes breath, but also treats gingivitis and other periodontal diseases while reducing oral bacteria. Mouthrinse that contains fluoride can help fight gingivitis and also prevent cavities. The ADA allows consumers to compare similar products on the market with a list of descriptions and ingredients. Mouth care is vitally important not only to dental care but also to overall well-being. If uncertain, look for the ADA seal of approval when choosing mouthwash for both consumer safety and product effectiveness.

Although mouthrinse is beneficial to oral health, there are some side effects of overusing or misusing mouthrinse. If the rinse contains alcohol, an overuse of gargling may result in dry mouth in patients. Children who use mouthrinse should be monitored to avoid swallowing. If a large amount is swallowed, parents and guardians should seek medical care and poison control immediately.

For thorough oral care, visit the dentist twice annually to help improve dental hygiene and maintain a beautiful smile. Dr. Alexander Ash located in Studio City, California aids in supporting oral health, provides suggestions and recommendations for patients with questions about mouthwash, and provides comprehensive dentistry services.

Dr. Ash is the founder of Studio Dental Care. He earned his Doctorate at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, followed by two General Residencies at New York-Presbyterian / Weill-Cornell Hospital and the UCLA Sepulveda VA Hospital.

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