Mouthwash: Important for your oral health or just a waste of money?

Categories: General Dentistry

Woman rinsing mouth with mouthwash in bathroom. You brush and you floss every day, and you visit your dentist for cleanings, too. But what about mouthwash? Is it something you should be using, or is it just one more thing to buy? Can it really help to keep teeth healthy and beautiful? Here is some information about mouthwash so that you can decide for yourself.

Should you use mouthwash?

There are many different mouthwashes available that target specific issues. You can get mouthwash with extra fluoride, to help sensitive teeth, to fight bad breath, to keep plaque from accumulating on teeth, or to keep cavities from developing. If in doubt as to what kind of mouthwash you should use, you can always ask your dentist for advice.

You may have tried mouthwash before and gave up using it because you didn’t feel like it was doing all that much. Believe it or not, there is a “right” and a “wrong” way to use mouthwash!

• Keep in mind that mouthwash isn’t a substitute for brushing, flossing, and trips to the dentist.

• If you have sensitive teeth, choose an alcohol-free mouthwash.

• Wait for half an hour in between brushing and using mouthwash, because the chemicals in toothpaste and mouthwash can cancel each other out.

• You should gargle for at least a minute for the mouthwash to be really effective.

• Use mouthwash on clean teeth.

• If you are using mouthwash to have better smelling breath, you should know that it may not help because the cause of bad breath may be the foods you eat, smoking, or poor oral hygiene habits. Mouthwash only masks the problem of bad breath for a little bit of time.

Mouthwash can be an important addition to your oral healthcare routine, and the right kind can help with specific problems that you are having with your teeth – but remember that you should still brush and floss, and eat healthy foods, too! And of course, make sure that you see your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups. Pacific Northwest Smiles can help to make sure your teeth are healthy and your oral care routine is working! Call today for an appointment, at 425-357-6400!