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Does mouthwash actually work?

Posted on 10/7/2021 by Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates
Most people know that mouthwash can help freshen bad breath. But mouthwash does a lot more than that. Depending on the ingredients, mouthwash can also:
•  Kill bacteria, helping reduce plaque and gingivitis, which helps prevent tooth decay.
•  If your mouthwash contains fluoride, it can help strengthen & remineralize your teeth.
•  Special mouthwashes can help sooth dry mouth.
•  Many mouthwashes can even help whiten your smile.

How does mouthwash work?

Swishing with mouthwash helps dislodge any particles left on teeth. It also gets into those hard-to-reach places and crevices between your teeth. If your mouthwash contains antiseptic ingredients such as alcohol, menthol, or eucalyptol, it kills any bacteria that has collected.

What type of mouthwash should I buy?

There are so many options of mouthwash available, choosing one can be overwhelming. First, decide whether your goals are primarily cosmetic or therapeutic.
Cosmetic mouthwash can freshen your breath and leave you feeling clean, but they do not get rid of bacteria or help reduce plaque. They come in a variety of flavors.

If you want to fight off bacteria, you will need a different type of mouthwash. Look for words like “antibacterial” or “antimicrobial” on the bottle. Also look for a mouthwash that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the front, meaning it has been approved by the American Dental Association as a product that fights plaque and gingivitis.

Regular mouthwash may not be suitable for children, as it has more active ingredients than children need. Speak to your dentist or hygienist for a recommendation.

Mouthwash Tips

Keep in mind that using mouthwash should never be considered a replacement for brushing or flossing your teeth. If you decide to add mouthwash to your oral care routine, here are a few tips:
•  Follow the instructions on the manufacturer label.
•  Do not eat or rinse for 30 minutes after using mouthwash.
•  Mouthwash containing fluoride should only be used once per day.
•  Cosmetic mouthwash can be used more than once per day.

If you are brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash correctly and it still isn’t helping your oral hygiene issues, call your dentist and make an appointment. It may be a sign of infections or tooth decay. We’re always here to help you with any of your oral health questions or concerns.
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Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates, 1070 West Horizon Ridge Pkwy., Suite 121, Henderson, NV 89012 - 702-473-5100 - - 1/31/2023 - Tags: Dentist Henderson NV -