Is Mouthwash Important?

May 31, 2013

Mouthwash is sometimes the black sheep of the oral hygiene family; it doesn’t get nearly as much attention as flossing and brushing do. Indeed, mouthwash isn’t nearly as important as brushing or flossing are to maintain good oral health. That being said, using mouthwash in your daily oral hygiene routine has many benefits in promoting your oral health:

The Benefits

  • Combats Bad Breath — For patients suffering from symptoms of halitosis or bad breath, mouthwash can be the ultimate ally. A good mouthwash will work against the germs that produce bad breath.

  • Prevents Plaque and Tartar Buildup — Antimicrobial agents in mouthwash work to reduce the levels of plaque and tartar in your mouth, as well as impeding the rate at which they spread.

  • Makes Your Teeth More Resistant — The fluoride in mouthwash can reduce tooth decay and improve the resistance of enamel to further tooth decay.

  • Decreases the Prevalence of Gingivitis — Just as mouthwash can aid in the prevention of tooth decay, so too does it work against the bacteria in your mouth and help prevent the possibility of gum disease.

Tips on Mouthwash Usage

  • With Fluoride, Please — Some mouthwash brands don’t contain fluoride, and while these will still be effective in combating the symptoms of bad breath, they won’t be as effective in working to promote the health of your teeth. If good oral health is your goal, remember to buy a mouthwash with fluoride!

  • Don’t Rinse With Water Afterward — Something many people don’t realize is that you shouldn’t rinse after using mouthwash. If you introduce water to your mouth after you rinse, you dilute the strength of the mouthwash.

  • Rinse at the End — If you use a mouthwash, use it after you have brushed and flossed. Like the previous point, you run the risk of minimizing the benefits that mouthwash can have if you introduce new substances to your mouth afterward.

  • Mouthwash is Not a Substitute — Adding mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine does not mean you can give up on brushing or flossing. Many people assume that if you use  mouthwash that flossing is unnecessary, but this not the case. Flossing and brushing still have uses that mouthwash simply cannot achieve.

 

If you live in the Katy, TX area and have questions about mouthwash use or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jahangiri, contact Noble Smile Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.