Rinsing with some minty mouthwash can be a refreshing way to conclude your daily oral hygiene routine at home.
But is mouthwash really necessary? Is it doing anything to promote the health of your teeth and gums?
Is mouthwash worth your money and your time? Or is it merely something that will temporarily freshen your breath?
We decided to get to the bottom of these important questions and find out what the experts have to say about mouthwash, including whether or not it really is a must-have.
Using mouthwash after you have already brushed and flossed is a good way to remove additional debris and plaque from the teeth. Plus, it’s a good way to clean hard-to-reach places that your toothbrush might have missed.
But, here’s the thing: you can achieve similar results by simply rinsing with plain water. In fact, you can rinse your mouth with water after you eat as a means to clean your mouth, and you can do the same after you are done brushing.
There are actually two categories of mouthwashes: cosmetic rinses and therapeutic rinses.
Cosmetic rinses might contain ingredients like hydrogen peroxide to help whiten your teeth, as well as ingredients that can mask your bad breath. But they won’t actually work on curing the cause of bad breath, such as decaying teeth or infections.
Therapeutic rinses will be designed to treat a particular oral health problem. For example, you might find a therapeutic rinse that contains fluoride or other ingredients that can reduce gum inflammation or plaque. There are also therapeutic options that can soothe painful canker sores. Others can help treat a sore or a dry mouth. And you can even find products that contain xylitol, which can inhibit bacterial growth and actually get to the cause of bad breath, rather than just masking it.
Although mouthwash isn’t recommended as a substitute for brushing and flossing, and it isn’t considered a must, if you like using it, there’s no reason to stop. Overall, these rinses can be a good addition to your routine, especially if you are using a therapeutic product.
If you have any questions regarding what type of mouthwash you should be using, consider talking to your dentist about your options. When you make it a point to receive professional teeth cleanings, and you follow an oral hygiene routine at home that includes rinsing your mouth thoroughly, you’ll always be ready to flash that beautiful smile.