You have a lot of choices it you are looking for a way to freshen your breath.  But if you want to do something healthy for your teeth and gums, make rinsing with a mouthwash a part of your daily routine.  Today’s mouthwashes can reduce gingivitis, tooth decay, tartar and plaque and they can even help whiten your teeth some.

Do I Need to Use a Mouthwash?

Mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing. A mouthwash won’t cure serious gum disease.  If you have regular bleeding of your gums when brushing and or consistent bad breath, you need to see your dentist to see if you have periodontal disease.  A mouthwash can be used before and or after brushing and flossing your teeth.  It is recommended that you rinse and swish for at least 30-60 seconds.  If you are using a mouthwash that has a whitening ingredient, you will have to use the rinse consistently for several weeks before seeing any results.

Mouthwash Ingredients

Read the labels carefully and the benefits they provide when selecting a mouthwash.  There are mouthwashes now that are alcohol free so make sure to pay attention to the label.   Most mouthwashes contain some amount of fluoride and this helps reduce tooth decay and prevent cavities. An antimicrobial is another common ingredient that helps to kill bacteria that cause bad breath, plaque and gingivitis and inflammation of the gums in the early stages of gum disease.  Mouth rinses have similar ingredients, however, be sure to read the labels because they all vary in some degree, therefore, make sure the one you select has the ingredients you are looking for.

Mouthwash clearly offers certain benefits, but it should not be used as a substitute for tooth brushing.  Even though mouth rinse can be helpful in lessening the risk of periodontal disease and cavities, they should always be used in conjunction with good hygiene habits.  I hope this Tooth Talk has answered the questions about mouth rinses.

Please email and or call me with any additional questions,, (615) 445-8700.