Just like all the other products in the oral care section, mouthwash comes in many different forms. Besides the aariations of blue, green, and purple that line the shelves, you really aren’t sure what their differences are. Could they actually improve your oral routine? Do you really need one?
To make it easier, your dentist in Phillipsburg is here to provide the facts. They are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to preventive care and mouthwash can take that care to another level.
What are the Benefits of Mouthwash?
Incorporating mouthwash into your routine can provide many benefits to your oral hygiene. It’s regarded by dental professionals as an effective way to combat tooth decay and gingivitis as well as promote healthy teeth and gums. Once you start using it, you’ll wonder how you didn’t ever before.
Mouthwash freshens breath very well, and with a wide variety of flavors to choose from, you can easily mix up your oral care routine while simultaneously killing bacteria associated with bad breath. Since mouthwash contains fluoride, it will also prevent cavities from forming, prevent plaque buildup, and strengthen your tooth enamel; confirm that the mouthwash contains fluoride before purchasing.
Many people tend to finish their brushing and flossing with mouthwash, but a more effective way to use it is before you start brushing. This will help wash away food particles prior and make brushing and flossing more effective. Now that you know these benefits, let’s lay out the different types of mouthwash.
The Two Main Types of Mouthwash
Basically, mouthwash can be placed into two categories: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwash is designed to manage bad breath and leave a pleasant taste in your mouth, but contains no chemical or biological application beyond their temporary relief. This type of mouthwash is not designed to kill bacteria. Therapeutic mouthwash, however, has active ingredients intended to control and/or reduce oral conditions like bad breath, gingivitis, plaque, and tooth decay. These active ingredients and their uses include:
- Cetylpyridinium (for bad breath)
- Chlorhexidine (to control plaque and gingivitis, only available by prescription)
- Essential Oils (also for plaque and gingivitis)
- Fluoride (for tooth decay)
- Peroxide (for whitening)
Mouthwash can also be prescribed by a dentist if it’s deemed necessary to treat a specific condition you may have.
What Clinical Conditions Can Mouthwash Address?
If you have or are currently experiencing any of the following conditions or symptoms, your dentist may recommend a prescription mouthwash to aid you:
- Alveolar Osteitis (AO) – also known as dry socket, this condition can occur after a dental extraction. Mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine can help prevent AO, even without antibiotics.
- Oral Malodor – Mouthwashes with antimicrobials such as chlorhexidine can be used to treat seriously bad breath.
- Plaque and Gingivitis – Mouthwashes containing cetylpyridinium, chlorhexidine, and essential oils have shown to reduce plaque and gingivitis when paired with brushing and flossing.
Let mouthwash make an appearance in your oral health routine. Ask your family dentist in Phillipsburg for their recommendations today!
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey R. DeMartino, D.M.D., D.A.B.F.D., earned his degree in premedical studies and BA in Psychology from the University of Norte Dame. He went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry at the Fairleigh S. Dickinson School of Dental Medicine. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (908) 859-5260 or visit his website.
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