Choosing the Best Mouthwash for You and Your Smile

Today, mouthwashes (also called mouthrinses) do more than freshen breath. Mouthwash is used to rinse areas of the mouth that aren't easily accessed by a toothbrush which helps to reduce the risk of cavities.

Mouthwash is used to:

  • Freshen breath
  • Minimize how quickly tartar (hardened plaque) forms on tooth enamel
  • Prevent or control tooth decay, plaque, dry mouth, receding gums and gingivitis

There are two kinds of mouthwash – cosmetic and therapeutic.

Cosmetic mouthwashes temporarily control bad breath but do not reduce the risk of cavities or gum disease.

Therapeutic mouthwashes contain ingredients that kill bacteria and used to treat conditions like gingivitis, receding gums, dry mouth and plaque buildup. Some therapeutic mouthwashes are prescribed by your dentist, while others are available at the drugstore.

Ask your dentist if you should use mouthwash, and if so, which type is best for you.

Can Mouthwash Replace Brushing Teeth?

No. Although mouthwash can be beneficial to your daily oral hygiene, it isn't a replacement for daily brushing and flossing.

Do You Use Mouthwash Before or After Brushing Teeth?

The answer is partially dependent on personal preference but check the product label. Certain mouthwashes should be used in a specific order (before or after brushing or flossing) to perform the best.

Can I Use Mouthwash if I'm Pregnant?

Yes. Use a fluoride mouthwash as part of your daily oral hygiene routine. Use a dentist-recommended mouthwash, especially after morning sickness, to help reduce oral bacteria and prevent the erosion of tooth enamel.

Is There Mouthwash for Kids that is Safe?

Children under the age of six should not use mouthwash unless directed by a dentist. Youngsters may accidentally swallow some of the product, which can cause nausea and vomiting.

Always read the label, follow the instructions, and note the age recommendations before using mouthwash.

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This blog is designed to provide general information and discussions about health and dental-related subjects. No doctor/dentist to patient relationship is established by your use of this blog or website. We are not providing any treatment or diagnosis on this blog, and it is not intended to offer specific dental or medical advice to anyone. The information or other content provided in this blog is not a substitute for professional dental expertise or treatment. We will do our best to provide you with information that will help you make your own healthcare decisions, however no guarantees or warranties are made regarding any of the information contained within this blog. If you have questions about any of the information presented on this blog, you should consult with your dentist. The dentists at Advantage Dental+ are licensed to practice in the states of Alabama, Florida, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas and this blog is not intended to solicit patients from other states. External links may be provided on this blog as a service and convenience to our patients and other visitors to our blog. These external sites are created and maintained by other public and private organizations, and we do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance or timeliness of any outside information.

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Gary Allen, DMD, Advantage Dental Group, P.C. | James Thommes, DDS, Advantage Dental Oral Health Center Of Massachusetts, P.C.; Advantage Dental Oral Health And Vision Center Of Alabama, P.C.; Advantage Dental Oral Health Center Of Oklahoma, P.C.; Advantage Dental Oral Health Center Of Texas, P.C. | Cory White, DMD, Advantage Dental Oral Health and Vision Center Of Alabama, P.C. | John Clasen, OD, Advantage Dental Oral Health and Vision Center Of Alabama, P.C. | Neil Williams, DMD, Advantage Dental Oral Health Center Of Florida, PA