Brushing and flossing are the mainstays of a healthy daily oral hygiene practice. However, you may want to add a mouthwash to your routine as well. While only a supplement, it offers the benefit of reaching areas of the mouth that are not easily reached by your toothbrush. There are two kinds of mouthwashes available to you. Therapeutic and Cosmetic.
Therapeutic mouthwashes help you lower or control dental plaque, gingivitis, bad breath, and tooth decay, lower pain from oral sores and relief from dry mouth. You can find these over-the-counter or prescribed by your dentist. For prescription mouthwashes, you will be directed as to the dosage, how long you will need to keep it in your mouth, and how often you should use it.
An over-the-counter product should carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the packaging to ensure that it is both safe and effective for what you are using it for. This matters, because, to earn the seal, the manufacturer needs to pass rigorous testing requirements.
Note: Children who are younger than six years old should not be given mouthwash unless your dentist recommends it. Their gag reflexes may cause them to accidentally swallow large amounts of the liquid which can be harmful. The manufacturer’s directions will display precautions and age recommendations for use.
Cosmetic mouthwashes may temporarily control bad breath, but they lack the necessary ingredients to kill bacteria that cause bad breath versus a therapeutic mouthwash that may help control or reduce bad breath, gingivitis, plaque, and tooth decay. Therapeutic mouthwashes may contain cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine, essential oils, fluoride, or peroxide which is why they are so effective.
Depending on what you are wanting your mouthwash to help you accomplish, you can choose the one that is right for your needs. If you have questions about how to best care for your smile, our dentists, Dr. Dwight Price and Dr. Joseph Bauscher are happy to help. We invite you to call Price Dental Associates in Houston, Texas, at 281-493-1550 today!