As we swish this minty substance from cheek to cheek, in between our teeth and under our tongues, the tingly sensation we experience makes our mouths feel fresh and clean. But have you ever wondered what mouthwash actually does to help your teeth, other than leaving you with minty cool breath? Here are just a few examples of the many benefits of using mouthwash in your oral hygiene routine!
It Kills Bacteria
Mouthwash doesn’t freshen your breath solely because of its minty quality, but it actually kills the bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath!
It should be noted, however, that mouthwash is a temporary solution to bad breath and it cannot fulfill all your oral hygiene needs on its own. Using mouthwash should never be substituted for regular brushing and flossing! Doing so could be compared to spraying cologne or perfume instead of taking a shower. But, as a component of your regular oral hygiene habits, mouthwash can be a great purveyor of freshness.
It Prevents Plaque from Building Up
Mouthwash can be helpful in preventing plaque from building up on your teeth and gums. While naturally formed plaque is generally harmless and can actually be beneficial in preventing harmful microorganisms from attacking your teeth and gums, it is important to not let it build up.
When plaque builds up, it begins to harden and becomes tougher to remove. While mouthwash can be a helpful agent in fighting plaque, it cannot reduce the plaque that already exists on your teeth. Therefore, it is important to use it in conjunction with or in between brushing and flossing.
It Can Prevent Cavities
If your mouthwash contains fluoride, a mineral that occurs naturally in water and many foods, it can help prevent cavities from forming in your teeth. Our teeth lose minerals when acids attack our enamel, which acts as a protectant layer on our teeth. Fluoride helps re-strengthen our teeth, making them more resistant to decay. In some cases, fluoride can even help reverse early decay.
It should be noted, though, that not all mouthwashes contain fluoride. Pay attention to labels to find one that does.
Remember: Mouthwash Can’t Do the Job Alone!
Mouthwash is a helpful hygiene tool when used along with brushing and flossing. You might use it to during your morning and nighttime routines or to quickly freshen your breath in a pinch. It should never take the place of regular brushing and flossing! It’s also important to note that using mouthwash could potentially mask the symptoms of an oral health disease. Chronic bad breath and a yucky taste in your mouth could be signs of gum disease, so do not attempt to cure such symptoms on your own with mouthwash.
If you find yourself needing to use mouthwash at an excessive rate, visit us for an exam so we can diagnose the problem. Don’t hesitate to ask the professionals at Daxon Dentistry about best mouthwash practices or to address any concerns about your oral care.