Do You Really Need Mouthwash?

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A rinse with mouthwash is refreshing. Most dentists agree that mouthwash can give your smile a boost, but is it really necessary and what are the benefits of mouthwash?

The Benefits of Mouthwash

Mouthwash has several benefits: it can strengthen the teeth, fight plaque, encourage healthy gums, and brighten the teeth.

  • Stronger Teeth. Fortified with fluoride, mouthwash can strengthen enamel and reduce the risk of tooth decay. Fluoride, a common active ingredient toothpaste and mouthwash, has been clinically shown to protect the teeth. A daily swish of mouthwash can help prevent cavities.
  • Healthier Gums. When the gums become infected due to plaque and bacterial build-up, it causes the gums to become inflamed and tender–a sign of periodontal disease. Mouthwash that contains antibacterial properties can help prevent periodontal (gum) disease. Some antibacterial mouthwashes can offer hours of protection after use.
  • Fresh breath. Gingivitis can contribute to chronic bad breath. Aside giving your breath a temporary minty scent, an antibacterial mouthwash can help keep your breath fresh by combating gingivitis and improving oral hygiene overall.
  • Whiter teeth. Some mouthwashes contain hydrogen peroxide, a substance that can whiten the teeth.

Mouthwash can be a great complement to the daily habits of brushing and flossing. A quick rinse can be a great way to remove small particles throughout the day. However, although it can help dislodge pieces of food, it should not be considered a substitute for other methods of food and plaque removal.

What type of mouthwash is best? Many mouthwash brands contain alcohol (ethanol), which can cause a burning sensation. Los Angeles-based Dr. Alessandra Raschkovsky often recommends using an alcohol-free mouthwash, particularly for those who suffer from oral irritations and who are going through treatment for systemic conditions such as cancer, dialysis, fungus infections. Alcohol-free mouthwash may be better for those with tooth composite restorations.

It is also important to note that not all brands of mouthwash contain fluoride or antibacterial agents. Be sure to read the label for a list of ingredients before you purchase a bottle of mouthwash.

At Zen Dental in Los Angeles, we can help you maintain and restore a healthy smile. From general dentistry to cosmetic reconstruction, we offer personalized treatment plans. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.