Should You Use Mouthwash?

Man with MouthwashThe Answer is… Maybe!

Mouthwash, or mouth rinses, are primarily used to remove food debris after brushing and flossing. They provide a pleasant taste, freshen the breath, and (depending on the active ingredient) can also protect against plaque & bacteria, periodontal disease, and/or cavities.

So should everyone use mouthwash? Not exactly. Some people who use it will see only marginal benefits over brushing and flossing alone. Furthermore, repeated use of alcohol-based mouthwash can irritate soft tissue, damage the mucosal membrane, and contribute to dry mouth (xerostomia).

Every mouth is different, so get a recommendation based on your individual needs by discussing mouthwash options with your dentist. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

Benefits of Mouthwash

  • Helps remove food debris
  • Provides temporary relief of bad breath (halitosis)
  • May prevent buildup up of plaque and inhibit growth of bacteria
  • May prevent periodontal (gum) disease
  • Fluoridated options may prevent cavities

Side Effects

  • Provides only temporary relief from bad breath (3-4 hours)
  • Can mask the presence of periodontal disease
  • Alcohol-based mouthwash may irritate tissues & cause dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • Alcohol-based mouthwash may cause intoxication and/or injury if swallowed

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