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Should You be Using a Mouthwash?
November 03, 2016  |  Oral Health

Should You be Using a Mouthwash?

You can help avoid a lot of dental problems by using a mouthwash. Typically, you can use mouthwash to treat a certain condition like bad breath. However, there are other problems that can be avoided by using mouthwash. These are usually found over the counter at your local pharmacy.

Consult with your dental care professional for a recommendation on which one will work best for you. This is because each product comes with different concentrations of chemicals and some might do you more harm than good.

What’s in a mouthwash?

A mouthwash is generally comprised of water, alcohol, cleansing agents, and flavor and coloring agents. Besides these, they have active ingredients too – depending on a specific problem that the mouthwash is designed to counter. They can be categorized as:

  • Antimicrobial mouthwashes are designed specifically to fight oral bacterial deposits and help treat gingivitis and control bad breath. The active agent fights bacteria in your mouth and prevents deposits and the formation of tartar. They are designed to fight bacteria exclusively and help prevent foul odors in your mouth.

  • Fluoride intensive mouthwashes are designed to reduce tooth decay and also make the teeth more resistant to decay. They are not a viable option for cosmetic purposes. Some fluoride mouthwashes are advertised with whitening agents as well. You should avoid these unless prescribed specifically.

  • Some have specific odor neutralizers and astringent salts in order to help control bad breath. These are not very viable for treatment purposes like fighting bacteria and reducing tooth decay. Consult with your dentist before getting a mouthwash for your bad breath as it may be due to a different, underlying condition.

You can also categorize them as cosmetic and therapeutic mouthwash depending on their function. Consult with your dentist to know which will be right for you.

When do you need mouthwash?
There are many cases that can benefit from it. Let us explore them in the following infographic.

Which mouthwash should you choose?

If you think your bad breath is a hygiene problem, then mouthwash is your best bet. If you have other symptoms that might indicate a different disease, It won’t be as effective. You can try a treatment mouthwash, but it’s best to consult your dentist before getting one. Also make sure to use the mouthwash at a different time than after brushing to avoid canceling out the action of your toothpaste.

Of the market’s abundance of choices―breath-freshening, antibacterial, fluoridated, etc.―which is right for you? Here’s how to tell.


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