Mouthwash and dental health 

Mouthwash and dental health 

The saliva is the mouth’s natural mouthwash. It rinses away bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gingivitis. Commercial Mouthwashes that you see on the groceries and pharmacy have antiseptic solutions designed to reduce bacteria in the mouth. It also freshens your breath.  There are 2 kinds of mouthwash: Cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes were produced to mask bad breath and freshens your breath while therapeutic mouthwashes reduces bacteria that causes bad breath and decay, reduce formation of dental plaque or reduce tooth sensitivity. Some therapeutic mouthwashes have fluoride to strengthen teeth. Mouthwash must not replace brushing and flossing in your oral hygiene, mouthwash must be used to complement them. They must not be  considered a substitute for good oral health. Using mouthwash and flossing can reach areas not easily accessed by brushing. 

Important notes when using a mouthwash: 

  • Swish the mouthwash in your mouth for  not lesser than 30 seconds.

  • Dilute the solution if it is stated on the label before you take it. Some brands have different levels of concentration.

There are many types of mouthwashes with different active ingredients and different functions and use. To  help you in choosing the right mouthwash for you, below are some notes to guide you.

  • With alcohol content- Alcohol is a component of many mouthwashes.  Alcohol is a drying agent, and will make your mouth dry, producing less saliva.But there are many brands in the market that you can choose that are alcohol- free.

  • With fluoride- There are many brands with extra fluoride in them. Fluoride  can be easily absorbed through the tooth, thus, reducing the decay of tooth enamel. 

  • Gum disease-If you have gum disease, you can use mouthwash with Cetylpyridinium, Hexetidine, Chlorhexidine and with Povidone-Iodine, these greatly reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth, can reduce the formation of plaque and gingivitis when combined with brushing and flossing.

  • Whitening effect-Mouthwashes that contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide may contribute to whitening of the teeth.

  • If you have a sensitive mouth, use an alcohol-free mouthwash.

Consult your dentist or dental hygienist for suggestions regarding the types of mouthwash to use.

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