Are Mouthwashes Necessary for Good Oral Health?

Maintaining good oral health is essential to avoid serious problems that can be costly and time-consuming to cure. These issues can be a huge hassle that can ruin your daily routine. If you need help with proper oral hygiene, a dentist in Zebulon can help you do that with regular checkups. You might be wondering if mouthwashes are required after all that flossing and brushing. Worry no more! We can answer your questions about using a mouthwash and help you decide if you need to include this as a part of your daily routine. 


What Is a Mouthwash? 

Also known as an oral rinse, mouthwash is an antiseptic liquid product used to rinse your mouth and kill bacteria that can harm your oral health. This does not replace your flossing and brushing routine, as it can’t fully eliminate plaque and tartar buildup. Moreover, it does not strengthen your teeth and protect your gums against diseases unless appropriately used. There are two types of mouthwash; therapeutic mouthwash, which is used to minimize bacterial growth in your mouth, and cosmetic mouthwash, which intends to give you a fresher breath and a pleasant taste in your mouth. 

The common ingredients you should find in mouthwash are the following; 

  • Fluoride – to strengthen your teeth’ enamel and help fight tooth decay 
  • Cetylpyridinium chloride – to kill bacteria that causes bad breath 
  • Chlorhexidine – to reduce plaque and tartar buildup and prevent gingivitis from occurring 
  • Essential oils – some examples are peppermint and eucalyptus, which have antifungal and antibacterial properties that can protect your mouth and improve your breath 
  • Carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide – aids in whitening your teeth

How Does Mouthwash Work? 

It is recommended to use mouthwash after flossing and brushing your teeth. Most mouthwash brands provide a cup for you to use the exact amount, but the recommended amount ranges from three to five teaspoons per session. The ideal time for you to rinse your mouth is usually 30 seconds twice per day. You may swish and gargle while waiting for the recommended time to finish before spitting the mouthwash out. As you swish the mouthwash inside your mouth, the antibacterial ingredients can get in between your teeth and gums and kill the bacteria before it collects there.

The fluoride in the mouthwash also coats your teeth and absorbs them into the enamel, making your teeth more durable. Mouthwashes can hasten your healing from mouth sores and ulcers, but they can’t cure major oral health problems like gum disease and teeth cavities. It is best to consult a doctor when you already have these problems and plan to use mouthwash. While it is unnecessary to use mouthwash as part of your daily routine, it is better to experience a holistic clean and freshness in your mouth because mouthwash can give a good rinse after scraping all those particles and dirt. 

Dos And Don’ts for Using Mouthwash 

Mouthwash has a high concentration of alcohol, fluoride, and other antibacterial ingredients, making it unsafe to swallow because it could lead to nausea, intoxication, and other health hazards involving internal organs. This is precisely why it is declared that mouthwashes should not be used by children who are six years of age or below as they can accidentally ingest them. As for the children who can now use mouthwash, they should be guided by a parent or guardian as a safety precaution. It is also best to avoid rinsing for more than 30 seconds because the potent ingredients in your mouthwash can cause gum irritation, tooth discoloration, and alteration in taste. If any of these happen after rinsing, consult your dentist immediately.

It is also recommended that you consult a dentist before using mouthwash, especially if you already have existing health issues, such as diarrhea and cardiovascular diseases, to avoid complications.  Just because you are now doing three things during your daily oral hygiene, it does not mean you will neglect your regular visits to your dentist. Regular checkups will not only help you detect oral issues, but you can also know the correct type of mouthwash to use for your safety. You should also look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance when purchasing over-the-counter mouthwash to guarantee its safety and effectiveness. 


Looking for a Dentist in Zebulon? 

At the Tryon Family Dentistry, we have been helping patients of all ages maintain their oral health in optimal condition with our quality checkups, cleaning, and other oral care services. Our experts can guarantee you the best results with our equipment and expertise. Contact us to book an appointment. 

“Excellent and knowledgeable staff! The doctors are the best and understood my unique TMD challenges. Because of this, my bite was corrected and I no longer have pain. Wonderful!”
- Donna Pygott
“I just left this dentist office and I am so impressed. I was able to complete all my paperwork online so I did not have to arrive early and I had only a short wait time once there. While there I learned of tools that I could use at home and even saw what my smile would look like with Invisalign. I walked away with a good experience and my treatment plan. Friendly staff, extremely clean and I felt thoroughly taken care of. Thank you Tryon Family Dentistry”
- Dre Haskins
“Amazing office. The dentists here do great work. Replaced four of my front teeth with veneers and worked with me (for free) when the treatment plan didn’t go exactly as expected due to my chronic bruxism. They always explain what they’re doing, and why. I thoroughly trust this team with my dental care.”
- Jeff Wilson
“Love this place – I can’t recommend Tryon Family Dentistry enough! I’ve been coming to them for about 3 years and I’ve never even considered going anywhere else. The office is nice and the people are great.”
- Molly Katolas
“Had another wonderful experience at Tryon Family Dentistry today! I felt safe during this pandemic due to the constant cleaning/disinfecting I observed. Everyone there goes out of their way to ensure your comfort and address any/all questions you may have.”
- Leslie Meilhon
“I had neglected my dental care for over 20 years due to fear of the whole process. I took a leap of faith and went to this office and I am so glad I did. They understood my situation and moved forward without making me feel bad. It was an 8 month marathon of dental work. I had fillings, cleanings, wisdom teeth removed, an extraction and a wonderful implant put in. I was a hard patient to work with and the whole crew was nice to me every step of the way. Years from now when I still have my teeth I’ll have this place to thank. They fixed me up now and destroyed my fear of the dentist office for the future.”
- Jay P.
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