“How Important is Mouthwash?” Your Common Questions Answered!

Dentist Olympia Fields

Using mouthwash can be a significant part of maintaining your oral health and improving your smile. However, do you know for certain that you are getting everything you can out of your daily rinse? Check out the answers to these common questions about mouthwash and how it can improve your dental hygiene routine.

Does mouthwash cure bad breath?

No. While mouthwash is great for reducing bad breath, it does not remedy the root cause of halitosis. Also, the effects of mouthwash are certainly not long-term. This is because mouthwash kills odor-causing bacteria in the mouth, but it is not able to reach those that may reside elsewhere, such as in the lungs. Bad breath may also be a symptom of a greater problem—such as gastroesophageal reflux disease—which can is only masked by the pleasant smell of mouthwash, rather than remedied.

Why is mouthwash important for my oral health?

Mouthwash is capable of preventing a number of oral health problems before they can occur. For example, mouthwash prevents gingivitis and gum disease by killing the bacteria that would otherwise infect the dental sockets and gums. It can prevent the buildup of plaque, strengthen the enamel, and demineralize your teeth, allowing you to prevent tooth decay. Ultimately, mouthwash is certainly an important addition to any dental hygiene routine.

Can mouthwash replace brushing?

No. Unfortunately, mouthwash is not able to remove the plaque and food residue from your teeth as effectively as brushing. Therefore, you should really only use mouthwash as a supplement to your brushing and flossing routine.

Are all mouthwashes basically the same?

No, there are actually a few types of mouthwashes that perform different functions. Antibacterial mouthwash, for example, controls plaque buildup and bad breath by killing the harmful bacteria in your mouth. Fluoride rinse, on the other hand, is used as a supplement for those who may not have enough exposure to fluoride in their regular drinking water, enabling the user to more effectively fight off gum disease and tooth decay. Lastly, there are also prescription rinses for those who suffer from gingivitis or gum disease—this allows the patient to fight the bacteria that is causing harm to their gums.

Can I use mouthwash if I’m pregnant?

Yes! In fact, it is highly recommended that pregnant women use mouthwash throughout their pregnancy. This allows them to prevent oral health problems, such as gum disease, that can actually lead to complications during pregnancy. In this sense, mouthwash can actually help to prevent going into premature labor!

Does it really matter how long I use the mouthwash during a single rinse?

Yes, it does matter. While we understand the alcohol in mouthwash can sting as you use it, it is important that you utilize the mouthwash for the intended period of time as written on the label. In most cases, this means rinsing with mouthwash for 30 seconds. By doing so, you’ll be able to ensure that the mouthwash is effective in protecting your gums and teeth.

Ready to learn more ways to keep your teeth in good health? Call Olympia Fields Dental Associates today to set up a six month check-up!

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