When you walk down the grocery store dental aisle you see many different types of mouthwash. Most claim to be good for your dental health, with germ-killing abilities or fluoride content, and some claim to whiten teeth while freshening the breath. These are all great benefits, but The Plano Dentist asks: will they help meet your oral care needs?
Many men and women wonder if daily mouthwash should be part of their dental routine. Brushing and flossing are the two essential habits that have the greatest effect on dental health, so if you’re doing these two things, is mouthwash needed?
As long as you follow the directions on the bottle, mouthwash may slightly benefit dental health, even if it doesn’t live up to every advertised promise. Rinsing with a mouthwash that contains fluoride can’t hurt your teeth, but allowing a bit of diluted toothpaste to stay on tooth surfaces after brushing probably has the same effect.
Individuals who suffer from bad breath often believe that mouthwash can solve the trouble. Actually, mouthwashes that contain alcohol can worsen the problem because they can cause dry mouth—a condition that can contribute to bad breath. Mouthwashes without alcohol are typically more efficient for freshening breath. These products are usually called fluoride rinses.
Bottom line? Never substitute mouthwash for proper brushing and flossing. And if you use mouthwash, opt for a brand that contains fluoride and no alcohol.
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