Mouthwash is used for many reasons: Freshen breath, help (in conjunction with brushing) to prevent tooth decay, reduce plaque and gingivitis, even reduce the speed at which tarter forms on the teeth. Most mouthwashes are even available without a prescription. Your dentist can advise you if your well suited to the affects of mouthwash. It depends on your oral health, even the area you live (for instance some dentists may prescribe mouthwashes that are enhanced with fluorides in areas where fluorides are low or not present in the water system). However, never forget that mouthwashes are not a suitable substitute for brushing and flossing. You will still need to brush twice daily and floss at least once. Dentists may even prescribe rinses for those with periodontal disease, or have undergone periodontal surgery.
There are two different types of mouthwash: therapeutic and cosmetic. Cosmetic mouthwashes reduce bad breath and leave the mouth with a pleasant taste. However, cosmetic mouthwashes will not help to treat the underlying causes of the bad
breath—bacteria. Therapeutic mouthwashes can kill off harmful bacteria within the mouth and reduce the amount of plaque. Therapeutic mouthwashes also contain fluoride which helps to prevent tooth decay.
Anti-Gingivitis, Anti-Plaque, Antibacterial mouthwashes help to reduce the bacteria within the mouth. Bacteria left in the mouth cause oral problems like bad breath, gingivitis, or, in extreme cases, full-blown periodontal disease. Mouth washes can help to reduce bad breath, although lingering bad breath could be a sign of poor oral health, and you should make an appointment with your dentist to determine the underlying cause of the bad breath.
One important note when purchasing mouthwash is to look for the ADA seal on the container. If the product has the seal, it has been tested by the ADA for safety and effectiveness.
When you use mouthwash in conjunction with brushing and flossing, it’s not important which one you do first. You can use mouthwash first or last. It’s the power that all three products have together, along with regular visits with your dentist, that promote good, quality oral health. For all of your dental needs, contact Brian Francis DMD, a Billings Dentist!