There are many different mouthwashes on the market today and it really kind of depends on what your specific needs are as to which one you choose. The main thing to look for in a mouthwash when choosing the right mouthwash for your taste, is that it has the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. This means that the product has met all criteria through the ADA to be approved for safety and effectiveness. It also means that anything on the label or packaging that the product claims has been evaluated and approved.
At your last dental check up, did you have a bunch of cavities?
If you did, you may want to start rinsing with a mouthwash that has fluoride. Fluoride helps to increase the strength of teeth and also make them less cavity prone (you may want to also check out your diet as to why those cavities are appearing). Usually fluoride rinses are meant to be swished after you brush your teeth and then avoid eating or drinking for about ½ hour to let it soak in. To learn more about Fluoride, check out our “Guide to Fluoride: Why You Need it” blog entry.
Do you feel that you have a dry mouth?
There are rinses that are alcohol free so they won’t make your mouth feel even drier. Dr. Paul Szmanda of Szmanda Dental Center states, “It also stimulates saliva production and contains calcium to help with acid neutralization.” A dry mouth can lead to cavities because our mouths depend on saliva to keep everything in check. Dr. Szmanda also says, “The most important thing if you have a dry mouth is to drink water. Have water with you at all times to keep your mouth moist.”
Have you been told that you have gum disease?
There are mouthwashes that have antiseptic properties that can reduce bacteria in plaque that cause gum disease. It can also fight bad breath which is usually due to bacteria (if you have a continuing issue with bad breath, it may be due to more than a mouth issue so please see your doctor). An example of an antibacterial mouthwash is Listerine. It can cause a stinging sensation for some people due to its alcohol content , can cause irritation to gum tissue and dry out your mouth if used for extended periods of time. If you choose to use this type of mouthwash, limit your usage to 1-2 times a day and don’t let children under 6 use it incase they swallow it.
Your best dental defense is to brush at least two times a day and floss once a day, but there are other things that you can do to help aid in the fight against oral problems such as mouthwash. Talk to your dentist at your next appointment to find out what you can do for your particular needs and you’ll be on your way to a healthier mouth.
Information compiled from WebMd, DentalCareMatters.com and staff at Szmanda Dental 2014