There’s a bewildering selection of dental hygiene products on the market, from mouthwashes to rinses to plain old toothpaste. Some tout their germ-killing abilities, others emphasize their fluoride content, and some claim to whiten teeth while freshening breath.
It can make you wonder whether you’re doing enough to keep your mouth clean. Brushing and flossing have the greatest impact on dental health, so if you’re doing these two things, is mouthwash necessary?
At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we tell our patients that as long as they follow the instructions on the bottle, mouthwash may slightly benefit dental health. Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash can’t hurt your teeth. Leaving a bit of diluted toothpaste on the surface of your teeth after brushing probably has the same benefit.
Individuals who suffer from bad breath often believe that mouthwash can solve the problem. Actually, mouthwashes that contain alcohol can make it worse because they can cause dry mouth, which can contribute to bad breath. Mouthwashes without alcohol are generally more effective for freshening breath. These products are commonly called fluoride rinses.
If you have severe bad breath, however, you should have your teeth examined for plaque build-up. No amount of mouthwash can remedy a mouth full of plaque. If your teeth and gums are healthy and you still suffer from bad breath, it’s important to identify the cause. Bad breath can be an indication of a physical condition, so see your doctor soon.
Bottom line? Never substitute mouthwash for proper brushing and flossing. If you use mouthwash, pick a brand that contains fluoride and no alcohol.
At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we like to tackle critical issues such as dental hygiene, cosmetic dentistry, oral care habits, and more!
We provide premium dental care to our valued patients. If you are interested in making an appointment, please call our office and a member of our friendly and thorough staff can answer any questions you have. Our services include cosmetic, general and family dentistry.
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