What is Mouthwash?
by Dr. Beau Beecher, DDS on 2/28/2019
Mouthwash is not a substitute for regular brushing and flossing, but incorporating it into your daily routine can help support cavity prevention, freshen your breath, and benefit your general oral health.
What is mouthwash?
Mouthwash is a liquid, typically containing an antiseptic, that you drink after brushing and flossing, but never swallow. Rather than swallowing, swish it around your mouth for a brief period of time. Once you feel you have thoroughly spread the mouthwash throughout your teeth and gums, spit it out in your bathroom sink.
It’s important to only use the amount of mouthwash as instructed on the label. The label should also provide directions on how long to swish the mouthwash around your teeth and gums. As mentioned before, never swallow, and consider supervising your child to make sure they spit it out if you are allowing them to use mouthwash after their regular brushing.
How does mouthwash work?
It ultimately depends on what type of mouthwash you are using, because there are multiple variations from which to choose. Each different types tends to emphasize a different aspect of your oral health. It is best to either consult your dentist first or explore your options to find the mouthwash best suited for your needs or your family’s needs.
Fluoride mouthwashes can help strengthen the enamel of your teeth and also protect against acid damage. This is particularly beneficial for those who are especially prone to cavities.
If you are in need of a mouthwash to help fight bad breath and prevent plaque build-up on your teeth, seek out a mouthwash that specifically includes anti-plaque ingredients.
Several mouthwashes do contain alcohol as an ingredient, so consider purchasing an alcohol-free mouthwash if you are shopping for school-age children or teenagers. Mouthwashes containing alcohol can also have irritating effects for those with sensitive gums.