When considering your oral health it is very important to remember that prevention is far better than intervention.
By this we mean that avoiding oral health problems (prevention), is likely to be much easier than having to undergo treatment for an issue (intervention).
The majority of us are aware that in order to do this we need to be brushing our teeth twice per day, and flossing once a day.
However, some people are unsure where mouthwash should fit into their oral care routine.
Read on to find out more…
Should I Use Mouthwash?
As with a lot of things, this is a question that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. However, providing that you stick to the above advice to maintain your oral health, mouthwash will not be a necessity.
Mouthwash: The Pros
Reducing the amount of acid in the mouth – Exposure to acid can cause the surface of your teeth to erode, this is referred to as dental erosion.
Cleaning hard-to-brush places – Some areas may be harder to clean than others, especially around the gums. Children may struggle to clean their teeth efficiently, and can use mouthwash with the addition of some water.
Remineralising teeth – This is a process that repairs lost enamel. Whilst teeth cannot be ‘rebuilt’ by practising good dental hygiene, remineralisation can be beneficial.
Dry mouth – Further to Doctor Schwartz’s suggestions, mouthwash may also be an effective way to deal with persistent dry mouth, which may occur due to different types of medication. However, if you are using mouthwash for this purpose it is important to find one that is alcohol free, as the alcohol may contribute to dry mouth and possibly lead to sores.
Mouthwash: The Cons
Ineffectual – Whilst many brands of mouthwash claim to provide you with fresher breath or whiter teeth, in actuality if a mouthwash does not contain fluoride it will be of little, or possibly no, benefit to your oral health.
Staining And Irritation – Cetylpyridinium chloride is an ingredient found in a number of mouthwashes that may stain your teeth, or cause irritation.
Antibacterial mouthwashes often contain chlorhexidine. Although this may be helpful for short-term use following some dental procedures, such as tooth extraction, or to reduce gum inflammation, long-term use is not advised as this can result in teeth staining.
Tooth Decay – Perhaps counterintuitively, some mouthwashes may actually lead to tooth decay. Acidic stabilising agents are commonly found in mouthwashes, as they extend shelf-life, however these ingredients have also been shown to erode tooth enamel and increase the risk of decay. Furthermore, many mouthwashes remove the ‘good bacteria’ found in the mouth, weakening your oral microbiome and leading to future problems.
Many individuals who struggle with bad breath choose to use mouthwash frequently as a way to manage the problem. Unfortunately, this may be simply treating the symptom whilst ignoring a possible underlying issue.
If you find yourself concerned about bad breath, book in with us today.
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