Dec 08, 2018

The recommendations for brushing and flossing are pretty clear: brush at least twice a day and floss once. But what about mouthwash? Many people aren’t sure if it’s worth it to use one each day and are (understandably) overwhelmed by the seemingly countless choices at the store. After reading this blog, you’ll understand what each type of mouthwash does based on your oral health needs and find out how using one each day can make your next dental checkup in Venice better!

Cosmetic needs and breath freshening

Whitening formulas will help reduce surface staining and also freshen your breath. And some even have fluoride for anti-cavity benefits or antiseptic properties for gum health (it will tell you on the bottle).

Also, some breath freshening mouthwashes have no therapeutic benefit – they’re simply mint flavored. These are mild-tasting, which is great if you don’t like the “burn” of alcohol.

Inflamed or bleeding gums

These typically have a higher content of alcohol or another antiseptic ingredient in them to kill bacteria in the mouth. They’re great for persistent bad breath and gingivitis but can be harsher than other formulas.

Cavity prevention and sensitivity

Some people seem to get cavities no matter what they do. In these cases, an anti-cavity (fluoride) rinse is a simple and inexpensive way to prevent tooth decay.

Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens your teeth, much the same way calcium strengthens your bones. It’s also a great desensitizer!

Although fluoride is already in many toothpastes, it’s beneficial to put another coating on the teeth since your toothpaste is immediately rinsed away. Just remember not to rinse after you spit so the fluoride remains on the teeth and does its work.

Advanced gum disease

For patients with later stages of gum disease, a hygienist or dentist in Venice will spend time talking about the importance of excellent hygiene habits at home.

They may also prescribe a prescription-strength rinse called chlorhexidine gluconate that’s typically only used for two weeks at a time. This mouthwash is very effective for killing the specific type of bacteria that cause gum disease and significantly reduces bleeding and inflammation.

How should mouthwash be used?

Keep in mind that mouthwash is only a great addition to the scrubbing action of brushing and flossing, which is the foundation of having clean teeth and gums.

Having said that, mouthwashes can make a big difference to your oral health because they get into places where your toothbrush and floss can’t reach!

About the author

Dr. R. Scott Thompson has 30 years of experience as a general, cosmetic and restorative dentist in Venice. He knows that his patients achieve the highest level of oral health when they combine good hygiene habits with regular dental checkups, and will recommend mouthwash when it’s appropriate for each patient’s individual needs. If you have any other questions, he can be reached via his website or at (941) 451-5849.