All About Mouthwash: Which Formula is The Best For You

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

A mouth rinse or mouthwash is a liquid that freshens breath and “prevents” oral problems. While some people do not stop at just brushing and flossing, others are wary of using a mouthwash. If you cannot imagine forgoing a little rinse after flossing then you know mouthwash come in various flavors and formulas. How do you know which ones are perfect for you? Read on to find out:

Mouthwash that Freshens Breath

Some types of mouthwash are meant to freshen the breath and will not offer long-term oral health benefits. While these mouth rinses are great if you need a quick mouth refresher, it’s not the best choice for those afflicted with various oral problems, such as halitosis.

Majority of halitosis cases are caused by bacteria in the gum line and tongue. But 10% of halitosis cases are caused by disorders in the nasal cavity, esophagus, stomach and sinuses. Because a mouth rinse only masks mouth odor, it does not resolve the root cause of the problem.

Mouthwash that Fights Plaque and Gingivitis

Unlike mouth rinses that only mask bad breath, these types of mouthwash provide long-term dental health benefits. These are called antibacterial mouthwashes.

Even when you brush your teeth and floss, some food debris will remain stuck in between teeth. Mouthwash that fights gingivitis and plaque kill bacteria that live in the gum line and tongue. Regular use of these mouth rinses will keep the teeth and gums clean while also minimizing inflammation.

Some anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis mouthwash brands bear the American Dental Association seal of approval. This means their claims have some merits. Do note that these types of mouthwash might not be enough for serious oral problems. For severe oral problems, your dentist can prescribe special types of mouth rinses with stronger antibacterial formula.

Alcohol-Based Mouth Wash

These types of mouth rinse contain a high level of alcohol, which is not advisable because alcohol dries the mouth. Rinsing with alcohol-based mouthwash is also a struggle because it can be uncomfortable for most people. This isn’t recommended for kids or adults with sensitive teeth. Kids can accidentally swallow the mouthwash, which is dangerous to the health.

Non-Alcohol Mouth Wash

This formula is gentler than alcohol-based mouth rinse. The formula will vary between antibacterial or breath freshener. Non-alcohol mouthwash is best for kids as well as individuals with sensitive teeth and gums.

Pros of Using a Mouthwash

May Prevent Cavities

Mouth rinses formulated with fluoride could reduce cavities. Some studies found that fluoride minimizes the demineralization of the teeth. This mineral makes the teeth more resistant to cavities.

Prevent Gum Disease

If you are prone to abscess, gum inflammation, bleeding and gingivitis, a mouthwash could be a necessary step in preserving gum health. Studies found that antibacterial mouthwashes can prevent gum disease and periodontal diseases.

Heals Canker Sores

Antibacterial mouthwashes kill microbes that cause painful mouth lesions called canker sores. Regular use of mouthwash will heal the sores at a much faster speed.

Cons of Using a Mouthwash

Irritates the Gum Line

Alcoholic mouthwash will irritate the gum line, making mouth rinsing more painful than it should be. Because of the alcohol content, it’s hard to rinse for more than 30 seconds, which is not enough to kill bacteria in the mouth.

It’s Just as Effective as Salt and Water Rinse

Did you know salt and water rinse is just as effective as an antibacterial mouthwash? You’ll spend less by turning to a salt water rinse especially when treating canker sores.


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