Does Mouthwash Work?

Woman Using MouthwashShould I Use Mouthwash?

Mouthwash (also called a mouth rinse or just a rinse) are liquids that are squished around in the mouth and then discarded. They come in a wide variety of solutions with different intended purposes and active ingredients.

One question we often receive is: does mouthwash really work? With all the extraordinary claims you may see on commercials and the wide variety of brands available on the market, you may be wondering if mouthwash lives up to the hype.

In reality, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether or not a mouthwash “works.” It all depends on the specific goals of your desired outcome, the current condition of your mouth, as well as your oral health routine.

Mouthwash For Bad Breath?

Many people use rinses to improve the smell of their breath and combat halitosis (chronic bad breath). In this regard, they will typically be effective as they usually contain pleasant-smelling ingredients. However, we recommend avoiding products that include alcohol. While alcohol may help sterilize tissue, it can also result in drying out the mouth and reduce saliva production. In turn, this can lead to even more bacteria and bad breath later in the day.

For Gum Disease?

Another common target of mouthwash is gum disease. Some rinses can improve mild gingivitis; however, any gum disease should receive treatment by a dentist so we can provide proper monitoring.

For Whitening?

Finally, some rinses aim to improve the appearance of teeth, with ingredients included specifically to whiten. (Again, some improvement may occur, but never as dramatic as professional in-office whitening can achieve!)

In conclusion, mouthwash can be a positive addition to your oral health routine, but it’s no substitute for proper brushing and flossing, and professional dental care, of course!

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