Does Mouthwash Really Make A Difference In Cleaning Teeth?

Mouthwash is claimed to fight off cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis, but is there any downside to swishing your mouth on a daily basis? Here’s a look at everything you need to know about mouthwash and if it can make a difference.

durham dentist recommends mouthwash

The dental routine for most people goes something like – brush, floss and finally rinse with mouthwash. For most of them, if they forget to these, something does not feel right, especially if they do not experience that delightful mint taste in their mouth. However, some people wonder: is it necessary to use mouthwash on a daily basis?

When appropriately used, mouthwash can help prevent tooth decay and oral disease. However, do you need to use mouthwash daily to enjoy optimal oral health? Is mouthwash good for your teeth?

The answer to these questions is both no and yes.

Here is a look at the pros and cons of using mouthwash and everything you need to know about rinsing your teeth with mouthwash every day.

Types of Mouthwash

Interestingly, almost half of Americans suffer from bad breath. While it seems like offering half of America’s population mouthwash should help solve this problem, the fascinating thing is that using mouthwash is not that simple. Why? Because there’s a variety of mouthwash options available that promote various oral health aspects, which makes it hard to decide what type of mouthwash to get. So, what kind of mouthwash should you go for? That depends on your orals needs. Here is a look at the four basic kinds of mouthwash available:

Desensitizing Mouthwash

If you have tooth sensitivity, then a desensitizing mouth containing Arginine is what to go for. The substance is claimed to seal off the sensitive parts of dentinal tubules. However, before using this wash, consider consulting your dentist for the best results.

Fluoride Rinse: This kind of mouthwash is best for added tooth decay protection and contains about .05 percent Sodium Fluoride and is ideal for people who have trouble fighting off cavities.

Cosmetic Mouthwash: Cosmetic mouthwash does not necessarily fight germs in your mouth; however, it will leave your breath fresh and minty. Sadly, cosmetic mouthwashes only mask the bad smell and do not remove the bacteria responsible for causing bad breath.

Whitening Mouthwash: One way to whiten your teeth is by using whitening mouthwash. This kind of washes contains a bleaching agent known as hydrogen peroxide which is known to remove stains and whiten teeth over time.

Anti-Plaque Mouthwash: Anti-plaque mouthwashes inhibit the accumulation of plaque, inhibiting gingivitis, which is when the gums become inflamed. The active ingredients in this mouthwash include Triclosan, Chlorhexidine, Thymol, etc.

The Pros of Using Mouthwash
Fresher Breath
There is not a better way to starting your day than with a fresh and minty breath. Some of the mouthwashes available not only add that refreshing fragrance, but they also eliminate the bacteria responsible for causing bad breath.

Fights Gum Disease
The plaque will naturally build up on your teeth from food and teeth. Gums and tooth sockets may get infected and inflamed if left untreated, and this may result in gingivitis or periodontal diseases.

Soothes Canker Sores and Mouth Ulcers
According to dentists and dental experts, using mouthwash can help ease canker sores since they detox the affected area, reducing or eliminating the bacteria that could irritate the site. Rinsing with some salt water is also very effective for mouth ulcers and canker sores.

Safeguard Pregnancy
Since hormonal changes may lead to higher risks of gingivitis, pregnant ladies are often at high risk during their pregnancy. According to a study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center, bacterial infections known to cause severe periodontal diseases may increase the chances of low birth weights in infants and may also cause premature delivery.

Reduce Chances of Cavities
Fluoride has been known to reduce demineralization by protecting and strengthening tooth enamel.

The Cons of Using Mouthwash

Likely Links to Oral Cancer
There is currently a debate on whether there are links between the use of mouthwash with alcohol and the increasing cases of people developing oral cancer. While some experts suggest the use of mouthwash to kill gingivitis-causing germs, it is advisable that you consult with your dentist before mouthwash products containing alcohol.

Increased Tooth Sensitivity
Alcohols present in some of the mouthwashes on the market will gradually, over time, dissolve the mucus layer of the teeth, leaving them vulnerable something that may lead to greater sensitivity.

Reduces The Benefits Of Toothpaste
It is believed that there could be an interaction between chemicals in the mouthwash and in toothpaste. As a result, both could be canceling out each other’s benefits. It is, therefore, advisable that you leave a 30-minute gap between brushing and rinsing with mouthwash.

Using mouthwash on a regular basis can be beneficial to oral health. However, to reap the benefits of rinsing with mouthwash, make sure that you use it as intended. According to specialists, you should consider using mouthwash if you have bad breath, dental decay, or gum disease. If you have good oral health, intermittent use of mouthwash is recommended and will make a difference. Nevertheless, how often you rinse with mouthwash and the kind of mouthwash you use is all up to you. Though, consider consulting with your dentist for advice on how often to rinse and what type of mouthwash to use.

Also be sure to read our post on How dentists fix cavities: