Choosing the right mouthwash
Mouthwash is a valuable part of an oral hygiene routine along with brushing and flossing, but how do you choose the right mouthwash? It seems like there are so many different types of mouthwashes, breath fresheners, and rinses for sale these days that it can all be a little overwhelming. Making the right decision will depend on your health and needs. Not all mouthwashes are designed for the same purpose, and different people’s mouths will have different issues to consider.
The right ingredients
If you’re especially vulnerable to cavities, or you live in an area without fluorinated water, it’s a good idea to choose a mouthwash that contains fluoride. Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel to resist cavity formation. On the other hand, if you already have fluoride in your water and toothpaste, then you might not require it in your mouthwash.
Many mouthwash varieties contain alcohol. This is what produces the slight burning sensation when you use them. Alcohol works well to kill many kinds of germs inside your mouth, which can help prevent infections and improve your breath’s scent. However, alcohol can also dry out your mouth somewhat, which can actually promote bacterial growth. If dry mouth is already an issue for you, it is best to avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol. Also, young children should not use alcohol mouthwash either. Alcohol is not the only germ-fighting ingredient in mouthwashes. There are other varieties available. But some forms of bacteria are actually beneficial to your health. Speak to your dentist before choosing antibacterial mouthwash. They may recommend it following certain procedures to prevent infection.
If you are not seeking a solution to a specific problem, but simply want to boost your overall oral health, then a mouthwash with fluoride and a basic antiseptic ingredient (like alcohol) will probably suffice. Rinses that are designed to whiten your teeth are also available. It is a relatively easy-to-administer whitening treatment. However, the most effective whitening treatments tend to be laser whitening or take-home whitening trays that you get from your dentist. If all you want is a little fresher breath, then mild mouthwashes without harsh alcohol can be used. These mouthwashes are more palatable since there less stinging from the alcohol (but they should still not be swallowed). Bear in mind that this type of mouthwash may not provide any lasting impact on your oral health besides a temporary improvement to your breath.