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What does mouthwash actually do?

There are so many advice columns and products out there touting dental health, do we really need all of them? We all brush our teeth, we all (hopefully) floss, but the jury is out on whether mouthwash is necessary or not. If you’d like a dentist’s advice, then read on.

What is in the stuff?

First, it’s probably best we break down the components of mouthwash, so you can understand what exactly you’re putting in your mouth. Mouthwashes contain alcohol or other antimicrobial agents to help kill bacteria and other germs that contribute to tooth decay and bad breath. They also contain detergents to help dislodge debris and plaque, and preservatives that fend off bacteria growth. Add a healthy dose of flavours and colours to make the whole process enjoyable and water to dilute, and you’ve got yourself a good mouthwash. You may occasionally encounter mouthwash with fluoride to promote teeth whiteness and strengthen your teeth against acid.

Which mouthwash is right for my mouth?

Every mouthwash, much like our teeth, is different. Choosing a mouthwash can be simple but choosing one that is right for you takes a little more consideration. We’re careful about the products we use on our skin and hair, so we should pay our teeth the same attention. Here are some important things to consider when choosing your mouthwash:

  • Fresh breath is simple to achieve; just choose a mouthwash you like the smell of.
  • Dry mouth or lack of saliva can cause us dental health problems, so choose an alcohol-free mouthwash. This won’t dry your mouth out and avoids any discomfort afterwards.
  • Extra protection against acid can be found in mouthwashes with added fluoride. They can protect your teeth against acid and fight against the evils of tooth decay.
  • Gum disease can be fought with some mouthwash, though is can be a sensitive health issue. Speak to your dentist about their recommendations on treatment and which product is right for you.

Achieving the best results

What’s important to maintain is a routine. Brushing and flossing is great, but using mouthwash once isn’t going to create any overnight changes. By adopting it into your teeth cleaning routine you will be rewarded with long-term health and dental happiness.

So, is mouthwash worth it? Yes, it is! A short burst of just a 30-second rinse can result in the reduction of plaque and even gingivitis. The swilling can also dislodge any food remnants and debris that our toothbrush may have missed, lessening your chances of developing cavities and decay. It freshens your breath, protects against gum disease, and can reduce the amount of plaque and bacteria in your mouth. It is by no means a one-step fix and isn’t a substitute for brushing or flossing, but rather a helpful addition. Include it in your teeth cleaning routine and you could reap wonderful benefits.

The next step

Everyone’s teeth are different, and some of us may suffer from more sensitive teeth and gums. If this is the case, there are more sensitive or lightweight options out there. However, it can be difficult to know what you do or don’t need, so a dentist’s recommendation can become very valuable. Pop into our Bolton dental practice and speak to us about your dental needs, book an appointment online, or speak to a friendly member of our team today on 01204 304568.

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