You’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits of brushing and flossing, but what about mouthwash? Does mouthwash really help? Let’s talk about the benefits and uses of mouthwash so you can know when it’s something you might want to add to your dental care routine.
Mouthwash has many benefits. The answer to the question “Does mouthwash really help?” depends on what you’re looking for and which type of mouthwash you choose. Different mouthwashes are formulated with different active ingredients to accomplish different things so it’s important to get the right one to fit your needs.
Freshening Your Breath
Mouthwash can be a great option to help freshen your breath because bad breath is most often caused by bacteria in the mouth. While a mint candy or stick of chewing gum may provide a flavor that masks bad breath, mouthwash takes it a step further and helps to wash away the bacteria that is the source of the bad breath. If you get one with active ingredients that have antiseptic properties it can also help to fight the growth of bacteria, as well.
Remineralizing Your Teeth
If you want to strengthen your teeth and fight cavities, mouthwash can also help to remineralize your teeth. If this is your goal, look for a mouthwash with fluoride as an active ingredient. Fluoride has been shown to remineralize and strengthen teeth while reducing the occurrence of cavities in both adults and children.
When to Use Mouthwash
When you should use mouthwash can depend a lot on what your needs and goals are, too. If you’re wanting to freshen your breath, it may be helpful to use it in the morning after you brush and floss. It’s also a good option to use after lunch or snacks to help wash away food debris and neutralize bacteria and strong odors like onion or garlic when you don’t have access to clean water or a chance to brush your teeth. If you’re hoping to remineralize your teeth, it may be a good idea to use it at night before bed so that the fluoride has a chance to work for several hours while you sleep.
It’s important to remember that mouthwash cannot replace the effectiveness of regular brushing and flossing, but it is a great addition to your normal regimen.
Talk to Your Dentist About Mouthwash
If you’re considering using mouthwash, talk with your dentist and ask for a recommendation on which active ingredients to look for to meet your needs. If you have very specific dental care needs, your dentist may prescribe a special mouthwash to best meet them. Many people wonder “Does mouthwash really help?” simply because they haven’t found the right one yet. Your dentist will have the insight into your dental health and expertise necessary to help you find the right mouthwash to best match your dental care goals.
Call our Provo, UT, dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.