Should I Use Mouthwash, And What Kind?
As you walk down the aisle of oral hygiene aids in the supermarket, you get reminded of the constant advice from your dentist or hygienist- brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. But wait, there are MOUTHWASHES as well, you would wonder what is the benefit of using mouth wash? And does it replace flossing?
Let’s talk about mouthwashes today
There are 2 classes of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic.
- Cosmetic mouthwashes are to make you smell better, so you have wonderful breath when you use them but they do nothing to treat the underlying cause of bad breath.
- Therapeutic mouthwashes, on the other hand, contain active ingredients (like chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride, fluoride, or peroxide) that reduce the occurrence of underlying gum conditions like gingivitis that cause bad breath
How Do I Know If I Need A Mouthwash?
You may need a therapeutic mouthwash in conditions like
- Gum disease
- Dry mouth
- High decay rate
- Root recessions
- Have had gum surgery or implant surgery
Your dentist or your hygienist is the professional who would determine if you would benefit from a mouth wash and if deemed necessary for you, they would recommend them to you. They are only used for a limited period of time and your dentist will advise you on this.
You would be advised to use a non-alcoholic mouthwash if you have a dry mouth. Or a fluoride-containing mouthwash if you have a high decay rate or an antibacterial mouthwash if you have gum disease.
Can I Still Use a Mouthwash If My Dentist Doesn’t Recommend One?
You certainly can, but just the cosmetic ones that you can find on the supermarket shelves.
And remember, they are just an adjunct to your oral hygiene aids, THEY CAN NEVER REPLACE YOUR BRUSHING AND FLOSSING.
On the contrary, unless you have specific dental conditions, if you do stick to your brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, you will not need them.
Come and talk to one of our dentists or hygienists if you have had bad breath recently or have been suffering from dry mouth, you may need a therapeutic one!