While you shouldn’t use mouthwash in place of brushing and flossing, using mouthwash is a great way to take your oral care routine up a notch. Effective mouthwash not only keeps your breath smelling fresh, it can also prevent cavities and gum disease. There’s an endless amount of mouthwashes on the shelves all claiming different things, and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which one is the best. If you’re having trouble choosing a mouthwash that’s right for you and your needs then our family dentists are here to help!
Are You Prone to Cavities?
If you tend to get cavities often, using a fluoride-containing mouthwash will be very helpful for you. Fluoride prevents tooth decay by strengthening your enamel. Using a fluoridated mouthwash usually isn’t necessary if you’re already using fluoride-containing toothpaste, but it couldn’t hurt to use both. Fluoridated mouthwash is especially helpful for people who suffer from xerostomia, or dry mouth. People with xerostomia don’t have enough saliva to wash away food debris and acid, which can lead to tooth decay. Using fluoride-containing mouthwash can help prevent tooth decay from occurring by washing away those harmful foods and acids.
Do You Suffer From Gum Disease?
Anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis mouthwashes are designed to prevent and reduce tartar buildup and gum disease. This kind of mouthwash can reduce the bacteria that lead to plaque buildup and eventually gingivitis. Again, mouthwash shouldn’t replace your current oral care routine, but it’s helpful for when you don’t do the best job brushing and flossing. Also, anti-plaque mouthwash can slowly freshen your breath over time by reducing the bacteria that cause halitosis, or bad breath. For serious cases of gum disease, your experienced dentist can prescribe a stronger mouthwash for you.
Do You Have Bad Breath?
Many people use mouthwash solely for freshening their breath. Cosmetic mouthwashes that are only for freshening breath don’t necessarily kill odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. Because this type of mouthwash only temporarily freshens your breath and doesn’t always kill bacteria, it doesn’t provide long-term oral health benefits. If you’re just looking for fresher breath, you can use cosmetic mouthwash as a supplement to your oral health routine.
Do You Have Children?
If you have children at home, it’s a good idea to go with an alcohol-free mouthwash. Mouthwash containing alcohol can be harmful if swallowed in large amounts, especially for children. Even if you already buy special mouthwash for your kids, you should still consider choosing an alcohol-free mouthwash just in case they go digging through your things.
Get Professional Advice
If you’re still not sure what kind of mouthwash to choose, you should talk to your Grand Rapids dental hygienist at (616) 364-8716. Your dentist is the best source for mouthwash recommendations since they know all about your oral health and history. During your next dental appointment at Kent Wildern Dentistry, ask your family dentist which mouthwash would be best for you.