You do everything right. Or at least you think you do. You brush your teeth and floss twice a day every day. You see your dentist every six months on the dot. But what about mouthwash? Have you included that into your daily routine? If you haven’t, should you?
To help you answer this question, we’ve assembled some of the pros and cons of mouthwash use below:
Most mouthwashes contain alcohol. While this may seem like a good idea initially because alcohol kills bacteria, it’s only a short-term fix and could actually make the problem worse in the long run. Alcohol dries out the mouth, and a dry mouth invites more bacteria, so think twice before using mouthwash to sanitize your mouth.
Older adults and/or those suffering from hormone loss may also experience dry mouth as a result of aging. If you fall into one or both of these categories and you’ve been experiencing dry mouth, you should definitely avoid mouthwash because it will only exacerbate the problem.
If you already have a buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums, mouthwash won’t be able to penetrate the plaque that’s already there. Only brushing and flossing can help with that, so you’d be better off doubling down on the basics before you start using mouthwash.
If you’re thinking of using mouthwash to cover up bad breath, talk to your dentist about it first. We’ve talked many times before on this blog about how bad breath could be a symptom of a more serious issue, and while mouthwash might cover it up in the short term, it won’t do anything to correct the root cause of the issue. In order to do that, you need to see your dentist so the two of you can figure out what’s really going on and come up with a treatment plan.
Use Water Instead
Once you have brushed and flossed, you might want to swish some water in your mouth to dislodge any food particles that might still be hanging around, but mouthwash won’t provide any additional benefit in that endeavor. Some dentists recommend mixing a little bit of peroxide in with the water as a more effective means of killing the germs, while others might recommend salt water. Ask your dentist what they recommend.
Some mouthwashes are designed to replenish the moisture in the mouth. If you do decide to use mouthwash, check for a label that says the mouthwash is moisture replenishing to make sure you aren’t drying out your mouth.
Finally, never change your oral health routine without first talking to your dentist. Dr. Oller personally uses and recommends to all of her patients to use Smart Mouth mouthwash. She feels that it is the most effective mouthwash in both treating and preventing several oral conditions. It is powered by Zinc, which is something our bodies need.
If you want to keep your teeth healthy and strong, you must take care of them. At Simply Smiles Dentistry, we can show you how to properly care for your teeth. You will have a great smile that lasts a lifetime.
Until next time…Keep on Smiling!