Are you using the right kind of mouthwash?
There are two main types of over-the-counter mouthwash we recommend. One is for your gums to fight the bacteria that cause gingivitis. The other is for your teeth to help strengthen against cavities. Both can be used as a breath freshener. There are also some mouthwashes that are only for fresh breath and have no therapeutic effect.
Deciding which one to use…
In consultation with your dentist, deciding which type of mouthwash to use may depend on whether you’re more susceptible to gingivitis or decay. If you have bleeding gums, then the antibacterial rinses to fight gingivitis would be most effective. If you have a lot of filings and crowns, fluoride might be the best choice. If fresh breath is all you’re after, the antimicrobials used to fight gingivitis will also work to control bad breath because bad breath is usually caused by bacteria.
Avoid mouthwash with alcohol
A common ingredient in many mouth rinses is alcohol. We recommend finding a rinse without alcohol because it can be harsh on the tissue in your mouth and increase dry mouth.
When should you use mouthwash?
We don’t recommend using mouthwash directly after brushing your teeth because you’ll wash away the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste. We suggest you also read the recommendations and directions listed on the product you chose to use.
Always brush and floss
Mouthwashes do not take the place of brushing and flossing. It’s also important to visit the dentist twice a year. You will want to use mouthwashes that have the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance.
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