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.