Find Your Fresh: What Does Mouthwash Really Do?
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of rinsing with mouthwash. Gargling with a minty rinse leaves your breath tingly and fresh, giving you a boost of confidence to start your day.
But, there are quite a few myths floating around about mouthwash. Our patients come to us with plenty of great questions: Do oral rinses actually prevent cavities and gum disease? Should you use mouthwash, especially if you have sensitive teeth or a dry mouth? And, with so many plaque-busting and deep-whitening claims out there, what really is the best mouthwash to use to improve your oral health?
Well, we’re glad you asked, because we’re ready to air out the controversy on oral rinses. Below, we’ll hash out their benefits and downfalls, recommend the best type of mouthwash for you and provide smart tips based on the latest science.
Weigh the pros and cons
If you choose to rinse with mouthwash, it should be the cherry on top of your daily dental routine. Brushing and flossing are the only way to completely remove particles and plaque. But, when used correctly, a good mouthwash can bring next-level cleansing abilities, while amping up your oral health.
What are the benefits of mouthwash?
- Freshens bad breath: Your leftover lunch can fester in your mouth, leaving behind bacteria and less-than-pleasant odours. Therapeutic mouthwashes with antimicrobials, such as essential oils, can go a long way toward eliminating those lingering scents.
- Can reduce plaque and gingivitis: When combined with regular brushing and flossing, mouthwash can help flush away the pesky particles that lead to gum disease. Again, your best bet is to go with a therapeutic formula containing essential oils.
- Fights cavities and tooth decay: In this case, fluoride is your friend. Mouthwashes with this ingredient support remineralization and healthy teeth. It’s always smart to brush with a fluoride toothpaste, too.
What are the drawbacks of mouthwash?
- May only mask bad breath: A quick swig of mouthwash alone won’t cure your coffee-breath woes. Consistent brushing and flossing are the only guarantee to great oral health. Plus, cosmetic mouthwashes may only give you a temporary freshness boost, so be sure to track down a good non alcohol based mouthwash.
- Can be dehydrating: Suffer from dry mouth? Opt for an alcohol-free formula. Otherwise, mouthwash can reduce the production of saliva and worsen your condition.
- May irritate canker sores: Again, too much alcohol can be painful for sensitive spots and open wounds. Go for a mouthwash with enzymes, cellulose or animal mucins, which will help promote moisture.
The top brands & products
With these tips in mind, what’s the perfect mouthwash for you? Look for products with the Canadian Dental Association seal of approval, which validates oral health claims with scientific evidence. And, you can always ask our team at Lewis Estates Dental for advice if you’re wondering what brand is right for you.
- Listerine Zero: Reduces and prevents gingivitis
- Listerine Anticavity Mouthwash: Protects against tooth decay
- TheraBreath Fresh Breath Oral Rinse: Fights bad breath for 12+ hours
Demystifying mouthwash: Tips & takeaways
- Can be diluted 1:1 with water if you have sensitivity or it feels too strong
- Beyond regular brushing and flossing, mouthwash can round out your dental routine and deliver a slew of health benefits but is not a replacement
- Should you rinse after using mouthwash? The short answer is no-we recommend steering clear of drinks and food for 30 minutes, or else you’ll diminish the cleansing effects
- Fluoride can be toxic when swallowed, so never consume oral rinses, and avoid giving them to children under the age of 6