Mouthwash is a key part of any mouth care routine, and you should consider it the finishing step to your dental health regimen. You need to start by flossing and then brushing thoroughly, but then you should finish the with a good quality mouthwash (note: a few mouthwashes recommend use before brushing, so read the instructions). So which mouthwash is right for you? Read on and we'll help you decide.
Alcohol Or Alcohol Free?
The first aspect to pay attention to when you're shopping for mouthwash is its alcohol content. Alcohol can help prevent viral infections and it will kill bacteria in your mouth for a period of time. This all sounds good, but alcohol can also dry out your mouth. If you suffer from dry mouth symptoms, you'll want to choose an alcohol-free mouthwash instead. An extremely dry mouth can be bad for your teeth, and it is best to avoid alcohol washes in that case. Children shouldn't use alcohol mouthwashes either as it is harmful when swallowed.
You should get all the fluoride you need from a fluoride toothpaste, but there are a few reasons to consider an additional fluoride mouthwash. If you struggle with cavities on a regular basis, it can't hurt to add additional fluoride in a mouthwash. This said, most people won't want to shop for a fluoride mouthwash specifically. There are better options on the shelf that often include fluoride as an active ingredient.
This type of mouthwash is considered "cosmetic" because it isn't approved or tested by the American Dental Association (ADA). It's primary purpose is to freshen your breath for a period of time with ingredients like peppermint. Fresh breath is great, but you should look for more out of your mouthwash. Realistically if it isn't approved by the ADA, it is not going to improve your oral health much and you should skip it.
You should search for an anti-bacterial mouthwash when you're in the dental products aisle. This variety of mouthwash is designed to fight infections and gum disease in your mouth. Antibacterial washes are often tested and approved by the ADA, and they contain ingredients that combat bacteria. Some antibacterial mouthwashes have alcohol in them while others don't, so choose according to your needs. All in all, antibacterial mouthwash is your best bet for dental care.
Final Thoughts On Mouthwash Selection
If you're not using mouthwash as a part of your dental health routine, now is the time to start. It can do a lot for your overall dental health by preventing bacterial growth that can harm your teeth. It will also freshen your breath, which is a nice perk. Don't forget to schedule a checkup at Grace & Leedy Family Dentistry to keep your smile healthy.