Mouthwash or mouth rinse is definitely one of the best oral health care products. Sure we all brush our teeth (hopefully) and some of us floss (we all should be). But do you use mouthwash? Do you know about all the amazing benefits mouthwash can provide?
Mouthwash has many fantastic benefits and can play a key role in our oral health.
According to the American Academy of Dentistry, there are two types of mouthwashes, therapeutic and cosmetic. Therapeutic mouthwashes contain active ingredients that can improve oral health. Cosmetic mouthwash are mainly for masking bad breath but do not actually contain any other ingredients that benefit oral health.
Reduce Bad Breath
One of the main reasons people choose to use mouthwash is to improve bad breath. Typically, mouthwashes have strong minty flavors that can mask bad breath, leaving a refreshing clean feeling in the mouth. Most mouthwashes are antibacterial which reduce the bad breath causing bacteria in the mouth.
Removes Plaque and Debris
Vigorously swishing with mouthwash can physically remove bacteria and debris. Swishing with mouth rinse can even help dislodge food and debris that your toothbrush and floss has left behind. Mouthwash is in liquid form so it has the ability to reach areas that are hard for your toothbrush and floss to reach. Less plaque and food debris left behind, less chance for cavities and disease.
Lower Calculus (Tartar) Build Up
When plaque is left on the teeth too long, it can harden and calcify into calculus or tartar buildup. This calculus can harbor bacteria that can cause gum disease and tooth loss. By lessening plaque in the mouth, mouthwash can reduce the chance of calculus building up on the teeth.
Lower Bacteria Counts
Therapeutic mouthwashes can provide other benefits as well. Therapeutic mouthwashes contain active ingredients which can actually kill bacteria. This can in turn keep bacteria counts lower in the mouth and help reduce bacteria in the mouth.
My favorite mouthwash, CloSYS contains active ingredient Cloralstan. This ingredient has the power to kill 99% of bad bacteria within 10 seconds and prevents it from regrowing. The best part? ZERO burn (alcohol free).
Prevent Cavities (Tooth Decay)
Mouthwash will often contain an ingredient called fluoride. Look for a mouthwash that says “anti-cavity” on the front of the bottle. This means it has fluoride in it. Fluoride helps prevent cavities and keeps the teeth strong and healthy. If you have any areas in the mouth that are decalcified or any areas of weakened enamel, it can help remineralize the area.
Help with Sensitivity
Fluoride helps strengthen teeth. This can also help with sensitivity since it helps strengthen enamel.
Many mouthwashes these days are marketed to help with teeth whitening. The active ingredient in most whitening mouthwashes is some type of peroxide which will help whiten teeth and break down stain.
I personally do not care for whitening mouthwashes because they feel awkwardly foamy to me. They never leave my mouth feeling quite as refreshed as other mouth rinses.
Now, if you are looking for a serious change in the color of your teeth, mouthwash probably wont be it. I would try something more along the lines of whitening strips. Click HERE to check out my other post on my favorite whitening strips which don’t cause any sensitivity.
Reduce Dry Mouth
Various alcohol free mouthwashes can help with dry mouth. So many people suffer with dry mouth due to certain conditions or medications. Biotene is a great mouthwash that is specific for those suffering with dry mouth.
Topical Pain Relief
Certain mouthwashes can provide topical pain relief. These are usually prescription mouthwashes prescribed by your dentist. This can help with ulcers or certain lesions or fungal infections.
10 Benefits of Mouthwash
- Reduce bad breath
- Remove plaque and debris
- Lower calculus/ tartar build up
- Reduce chance of gum disease
- Lower bacteria counts
- Prevent tooth decay
- Reduce mouth sensitivity
- Teeth whitening
- Reduce dry mouth
- Topical pain relief
Kelly Hancock, RDH
Kelly is a registered dental hygienist and oral health care provider. She is passionate about oral hygiene and encourages people to achieve optimal oral health. She has been working in the dental profession for 16 years and worked in many different roles in the dental industry. Kelly is currently a pediatric dental hygienist specializing in children’s dentistry. She is committed to helping others with their oral health care issues and helping others achieve a smile they love.