When many people think of mouthwash, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a quick way to freshen their breath in the morning or after a meal. But if you choose the right mouthwash, rinsing daily can be another weapon in the battle against tooth decay and gum disease.
At Mark Helms, DDS we encourage our patients to take an active role in their oral health, including getting regular checkups and cleanings, and following a flossing and brushing routine to guard against cavities. Mouthwash can be a positive addition to that routine — if you choose a brand that has therapeutic value, rather than one that’s purely meant to wash away bad breath and leave your mouth feeling refreshed. Therapeutic mouthwashes contain active ingredients that fight bacteria and reduce plaque (that sticky film that coats the teeth), tartar (hardened plaque) and fight tooth decay, gum disease, as well as bad breath.
Therapeutic mouthwash, much like dental floss, can get in between teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. It can really come in handy at times when you don’t have a toothbrush or dental floss with you while on the go. Most therapeutic mouthwashes are sold over the counter, but there are some varieties that require a prescription.
We recommend that our patients look for the American Dental Association’s seal of approval on over-the-counter brands, which signifies they have been tested for effectiveness and safety. The ADA includes some natural and organic products among its selections. It is also important to note that some brands contain alcohol and should not be used by children younger than six years of age.
At Mark Helms, DDS we discuss all aspects of oral health with our patients, including whether mouthwash should be a part of their daily routine. Contact our office today to arrange a comprehensive examination with our friendly, attentive staff!
By Mark Helms, DDS
October 1, 2021