You must have heard your dentist suggesting to use mouthwash and floss along with brushing your teeth regularly. If you’d like to add a mouthwash or rinse to your oral care routine, it’s important to be aware of just what a mouthwash or rinse does. Some freshen breath, others provide an anti-cavity benefit from fluoride, while others contain germ-killing ingredients to help prevent plaque buildup. You have many options, and the right mouthwash or rinse for you is the one that meets your dental hygiene needs for the health of your teeth and gums and taste preference.
Here are the most common types of mouthwashes available.
1) Fluoride Mouthwashes
These mouthwashes contain sodium fluoride which helps to strengthen the teeth as well as adding extra protection against tooth decay. However, fluoride is present in toothpaste and tap water and is more than adequate for our needs. Be careful about consuming excessive amounts of fluoride. Most dentists suggest using these mouthwashes for an overall healthy mouth.
2) Cosmetic Mouthwashes
Cosmetic washes do not offer the same protection as other types and are used more as a means of disguising bad breath (halitosis). They help to keep your teeth clean but do not reduce the risk of tooth decay.
3) Antiseptic Mouthwashes
These mouthwashes contain chlorhexidine gluconate – a chemical which stops the growth of bacteria and is suitable for people with a mouth infection. They are also useful for people with bad breath. They are effective in that they can prevent the buildup of plaque to a certain degree, but they should be used in conjunction with a toothbrush and dental floss. The high levels of chlorhexidine can cause discolouration of the teeth over a long period.
4) Magic Mouthwash
This may sound exotic, but it is a type of mouthwash which is prescribed by your dentist to treat conditions such as mouth ulcers or inflamed mouth tissues caused by cancer treatment. This mouthwash may include tetracycline, lidocaine, nystatin, Maalox, etc. Specific types of mouthwashes will be recommended based on the specific oral problem you have.
The best way to find the right mouthwash is by asking your dentist. Based on your oral condition and lifestyle, the dentist will suggest the best-suited wash or rinse so that you can use it comfortably and get the right solution to your oral concerns.