If you have been to the supermarket recently, you must have come across a dizzying number of different mouthwashes. After a while, you might have picked up a bottle and thought, “is mouthwash really necessary?”
There isn’t a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to this question. According to the American Dental Association, using mouthwash may offer additional benefits. But it is not a substitute for optimal dental hygiene habits like brushing and flossing.
This answer might seem a bit confusing. So we will explain the ins and outs to you. that way you will be better informed regarding whether or not you really need to purchase a mouthwash the next time you go to the supermarket.
What Counts as Optimum Dental Hygiene Habits?
What activities count in an excellent daily dental routine? Here they are:
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing daily
That’s it. The minimum requirement to maintain your teeth is to follow the above regular brushing and flossing routine.
Having said that, rinsing with a mouthwash can offer additional benefits. Here are the main benefits of using a mouthwash:
- Offers clean and fresh breath
- Prevents periodontal disease (gum disease)
- Soothes canker sores
- Reduces the risk of tooth decay
The above are all examples of the extra protection you can get from a mouthwash. Once again, mouthwash is not mandatory, but it can be a very nice addition to an existing dental hygiene regimen (assuming it is good).
Mouthwash Can Prove Useful
The benefits of using a mouthwash is secondary to brushing and flossing. However, here are some more additional benefits apart from treating bad breath:
- Addressing dry socket
- Treating tooth sensitivity
- Addressing the issue of dry mouth
- Killing harmful bacteria
- Removing plaque
A mouthwash can take care of these issues partially.
How to Use a Mouthwash?
You can include mouthwash in your daily routine if you want this additional protection. However, you should not simply pick up any product and use it at any time of the day.
Following a specific routine can amplify the effectiveness of using mouthwash:
- Clean your teeth thoroughly via brushing and flossing
- Wait for around 30 minutes after brushing
- This waiting period allows the fluoride in your toothpaste to strengthen your teeth
- After a decent duration, rinse your mouth with a mouthwash
- Gargle the mouthwash at the back of your throat and spit it out
- Use it after lunch or dinner at your convenience
This routine can result in an effective surface cleaning of your mouth and teeth. However, there is no alternative to brushing and flossing for maintaining good dental health.
Choose a Safe Mouthwash Brand
Incorporating the usage of mouthwash in your daily routine also calls for the proper choice of mouthwash.
Choose a mouthwash with no alcoholic content to reduce any side effects like irritation of canker sore. Best to choose mouthwashes with an American Dental Association (ADA) seal.
On the other hand, you can use herbal or natural mouthwashes. In such cases, always read the certification and adherence to safety regulations.
Alternatives to Using Mouthwash
If you don’t opt to use a mouthwash, there are other options available besides regular brushing and flossing. Here are some standard techniques for good dental hygiene:
- Rinsing your mouth with salt water
- Drinking plenty of water
- Consuming parsley
- Using a safe chewing gum
In addition, you can even use oils made of lemongrass, clove, or peppermint. All these alternatives can help reduce bad breath. Also, rinsing with water can help flush out the debris after brushing and flossing.
In a Nutshell
Mouthwash is not a replacement for routine brushing and flossing. It can work as a good auxiliary dental hygiene item.
You need to follow a specific routine to maximize the positive impact of using a mouthwash. This routine includes rinsing your mouth after a specific gap post brushing. Also, you can use a mouthwash after every meal if convenient.
Try always to buy a mouthwash that has an ADA seal of acceptance. Also, watch for the alcohol content in the product. Following these tips will prove helpful in maintaining a safe dental hygiene routine.
So, if you want to boost your dental health regime, using a mouthwash can prove a useful option.