As you probably know, oral care doesn’t just involve brushing your teeth. You need to visit your dentist on a regular basis, and maybe have a prophylaxis done. Flossing is also a recommended procedure for taking care of your teeth. But should you actually use mouthwash? In certain cases, yes. At the very least, a mouthwash leaves you with fresh breath, which is important for your confidence. You know that you won’t make the persons around you uncomfortable with your malodorous breath.
For a lot of people, the twice or thrice daily routine for oral care is flossing, brushing, rinsing off with mouthwash, and then off to the next activity. In truth, if you’ve just brushed your teeth, you don’t need to rinse with mouthwash. The best practice for proper oral hygiene is the regular brushing of teeth.
Some people try to get away with using mouthwash, but your Surrey Dentist will reiterate that this is not a substitute for brushing your teeth. Maybe using a mouthwash post-lunch at work is acceptable, but you do need to brush your teeth before going to bed.
Mouthwash does help fight cavities, especially those formulations that contain fluoride. Fluoride helps your teeth be more resistant to acid. However, saliva also does the same thing. Doesn’t help in the fresh breath department though.
Since mouthwash fights bacteria, it is also helpful in keeping your gums healthy. By rinsing bacteria away, mouthwash prevents bacteria from sticking to the gums. An added value is it helps with sores with its bacteria fighting action. Some mouthwash formulations also contain teeth whiteners, so that’s another plus.
But, it’s not all good news for habitual mouthwash users. First of all, excessive mouthwash use can cause irritation. A strong antibacterial mouthwash likely contains alcohol, which contributes to irritation and can cause oral cancer in cases of excessive use. Excessive use is using mouthwash 3-4 times a day. A mouthwash with high alcohol content can also lead to a dry mouth. If your dentist says that your teeth and gums are in good condition, then using a mild mouthwash for maintaining fresh breath will suffice.
You also need to be aware that too much mouthwash use can mask oral health problems like halitosis. Best to ask your dentist on some guidelines for mouthwash use because as we’ve seen, using mouthwash, or not, isn’t a one-size-fits-all decision.