mouthwash being used before a visit at edgewood family dentistry, a dentist in Anderson, IN

Does Mouthwash Make a Difference in Your Dental Health?

August 28, 2023 9:00 am

There are lots of mouthwashes on shelves today, but do they make a difference? Brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist protect your dental health, but adding a good mouthwash to your routine can help, too.

How Does Mouthwash Improve Your Dental Health?

Rinsing with mouthwash doesn’t replace brushing and flossing, but it can reduce plaque, protect your gum health, and freshen your breath! For the best results, be sure to choose an ADA-approved therapeutic mouthwash. These products are formulated to kill bacteria and prevent cavities, while cosmetic mouthwashes are quick fixes for bad breath.

If you want to strengthen your tooth enamel, look for options with fluoride, like ACT Anti-Cavity. If you suffer from bad breath, Therabreath may be your new favorite. If you have dry mouth, an option like Biotene or ACT Dry Mouth may help. If you are sensitive to many mouthwashes, Closys may be a good fit for you.

Should You Use Mouthwash With or Without Alcohol?

Many people think they need mouthwash with alcohol to kill all the “bad” bacteria, but alcohol-free mouthwash does a good job, too! It may even be more effective because you can swish for longer without the painful burn of alcohol. Alcohol-free products also won’t dry out your mouth, hurt your gums, or expose your teeth to too much acid.

Who Shouldn’t Use Mouthwash?

Young kids may accidentally swallow large mouthfuls of mouthwash, so dentists recommend waiting until your kid is at least six years old. Even if the mouthwash is alcohol-free, mouthwashes with fluoride can be risky for kids younger than six. It’s possible to get too much fluoride, and if kids ingest large amounts, they risk developing symptoms like nausea, stomach pain, and tooth discoloration. Once they are old enough, ACT Kids Anticavity is a great option.

Preventive Dentistry at Edgewood Family Dentistry in Anderson, Indiana

The right mouthwash can be a great addition to your oral hygiene routine. Like floss, it cleans between your teeth and helps reduce plaque build-up! Even the best dental health routine can’t replace a professional cleaning, so be sure to visit us every six months for an appointment! If you have questions or want to book a service with Dr. Kuiper, please contact us today.

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Image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

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