Mouthwash is a part of dental hygiene that no one really understands. Is it helpful? Is it required? What’s the deal? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using mouthwash and if it should be a part of your daily dental routine.
The American Dental Association (or ADA) states on their website that your dentist can tell you if mouthwash should be a part of your daily routine. This means that it is not required, but there can be some good uses for it. Trust your dentist and ask questions on your next visit to find out if mouthwash is for you. They did state that some mouthwashes help to prevent cavities, and it can help to rinse away extra food particles that may get caught up in your teeth. But they want you to know that mouthwash is not the same as brushing and flossing and should never be a substitution.
The Pros of Mouthwash
- Helps prevent cavities by washing away excess food particles that may be left in your mouth
- Freshens your breath
- Can help whiten your teeth with the hydrogen peroxide found in most formulas
- Kills germs in your mouth that can lead to plaque and gingivitis
- Prevents tartar from building up
The Cons Of Mouthwash
- Oral cancer? There was a recent study that showed a link between frequent mouth washing (3 or more times per day) and a risk of oral cancer. More studies are still needed, but there is a chance it could have a link to oral cancer.
- Dry mouth- Alcohol can dry out your mouth, which can cause other problems like sensitive teeth, bad breath and cavities. But there are alcohol-free formulas on the market today that may be a better option.
- Expensive-If it doesn’t replace brushing and flossing, do you really need it? It can be expensive to keep mouthwash stocked in your cabinets when it isn’t really necessary. If you are looking to cut something out of your dental routing, mouthwash may be it.
Talk with your dentist to find out what is best for your mouth. Each person is different, and there may be a really good reason why your dentist does or does not want you to be rinsing your mouth out. Call us today to make an appointment so we can check out your mouth and get you in the way to good dental hygiene.