Managing Wellness

Mouthwash Benefits: What You Need to Know

Did you know you should be gargling mouthwash for at least 45 seconds?
Posted by February 14, 2017

Even if you’re not preparing for a hot date, mouthwash can be used for more than just freshening your breath. In fact, adding mouthwash to your daily routine can be a great addition to improving your oral health.

The Benefits

Mouthwash cannot replace brushing your teeth or flossing, but according to the ADA, mouthwash can reach areas not easily accessed by a toothbrush and can kill bacteria. Depending on the mouthwash benefits you are looking for, it can be used cosmetically, therapeutically, or both. Cosmetic mouthwash can control bad breath, help whiten your teeth and leave behind a pleasant taste. Therapeutic mouthwash, in contrast, has ingredients that can also assist with controlling bad breath and fight off gingivitis, plaque and tooth decay.

A Variety of Mouthwashes

As mentioned, tackling bad breath, gingivitis, plaque and tooth decay are all mouthwash benefits. The majority of mouthwashes are non-prescription, but your doctor may suggest a prescription mouthwash based on your needs. Non-prescription mouthwash can range from plaque and gingivitis control mouth rinse to fluoride mouth rinse. Fluoride mouthwash should be used if you have problems with tooth decay because it helps make your teeth resistant to decay.

Gum problems? Mouthwash promoting plaque and gingivitis control is the way to go. If you experience bleeding when brushing or notice bad breath, you should be using a chlorhexidine-based mouthwash. If you are having minor mouth sores or desire a clean mouth cheap and fast, the American Cancer Society states that you can make your own mouthwash with 1 quart water, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt.

How You Should Use Mouthwash

Every mouthwash is different. Certain mouthwashes may recommend a specific order to use the wash to avoid reducing its effectiveness. More commonly, whether before or after brushing your teeth, the time you use mouthwash is based on preference. There is no exact limit for how often you should use mouthwash, however, the ADA suggests that you gargle the wash for at least 45 seconds. Most mouthwashes will have directions for optimal use on the back of the bottle.

Is Mouthwash Safe?

The ADA provides a seal of acceptance on mouthwashes that hold scientific evidence that their product is safe and does as the product claims. The ADA seal demonstrates that the mouthwash you are using does not cause any damage orally or internally. Mouthwashes without this seal may not be safe – here are 143 brands of mouthwash considered safe and effective by the ADA. Swallowing mouthwash is not suggested, but if you are a parent, it is important to know that mouthwash is not recommended for children younger than six years of age because they may swallow a large amount of the rinse.

Mouthwash benefits can give you minty-fresh breath while also fighting off plaque buildup. Your gums and teeth can gain the extra support they need by a quick gargle. There are many mouthwashes that can help you target your specific oral health concerns. So, swish and spit for better oral health!

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