Many of us grew up watching commercials of couples waking up in the morning, brushing their teeth, and then gargling a quick shot of mouthwash before heading out for their day. The filmmakers may have even zoomed in for that ‘fresh, sparkly’ image of their white teeth. While mouthwash certainly gives us the feeling of ‘freshening up’, is it really healthy for your mouth, teeth, and gums? We’re glad you asked.
Not a Substitute
When it comes to taking care of your oral health, the best thing you can do is establish a daily brushing and flossing routine – in addition to seeing your dentist twice every year. If you do these things, you are on the right track to a healthy mouth! Mouthwash can be used as an addition to this routine – but never as a substitute. While mouthwash has benefits, like giving you fresh breath and killing bacteria, it doesn’t ever remove or sweep away the gunk that can get stuck on or in between your teeth. That ‘gunk’ is the stuff that causes cavities and tooth decay, so it is important to use mouthwash in addition to your daily brushing routine, not as a substitute.
Not All Created Equal
There is no reason to condemn mouthwashes. In fact, many can be beneficial and aid in killing harmful bacteria that can cause cavities, tooth decay, infection, and gum diseases like gingivitis. On the market today, there are a lot of mouthwashes full of chemicals and even sugar – making them a harmful additive to your daily oral hygiene routine. Mouthwashes can be put into two easy categories:
- Cosmetic. Used to freshen breath or remove bad tastes from the mouth. Some even contain dangerous whitening properties.
- Therapeutic. Used to kill bacteria, control tartar buildup, and prevent gum disease.
The trick is to remember that not all mouthwashes are created equal. Check the label and the ingredients, or check this website to find one that is recommended by dental professionals.
Freshen Up with Your Dentist
The best way to get a healthy mouth is by consulting with your dentist. While mouthwashes are typically fine to use in addition to your oral hygiene routine, only your dentist can recommend the right products for your teeth. If you are ready to customize your dental healthcare, schedule an appointment with us at Cody Dental Group today!