You might ask yourself, “should I be using mouthwash?” And you might have heard some people say that it doesn’t do anything for you, or that all it does is mask underlying health problems, much like air freshener spray only covers up the underlying smell. You should consult with your dentist at Bedford Dental Group before using your chosen mouthwash. If you’re using mouthwash for halitosis (bad breath), then you probably aren’t dealing with the real problem.
Bad breath is caused by a number of factors, dry mouth, anaerobic bacteria growth, smoking, poor diet, poor hygiene, periodontal disease, and a number of other factors. They type of mouthwash that you buy at the store really can’t help any of these conditions.
There are two types of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes are available on the shelves of your grocery store and other common retailers. These options can actually give you fresh breath for up to 3 hours. Cosmetic mouthwashes will temporarily mask your bad breath, but they do nothing to fight the underlying cause. Some forms of cosmetic mouthwash have useful ingredients like fluoride (which helps fight cavities), as well as other ingredients that assist you in the fight against gingivitis. Fluoride can even help decrease plaque buildup.
Therapeutic mouthwash is prescribed by your dentist at Bedford Dental Group. These types of mouthwashes have special active ingredients, come of them biological, which actively break down and fight bacteria that causes bad breath. Some of these special ingredients will seek out and target decay-causing agents in your mouth, reducing your plaque buildup. The concentration of ingredients in these kinds of mouthwashes are far higher than cosmetic mouthwashes, so it’s important to get it cleared with your dentist or physician first.
Stay Away From Mouthwash With Alcohol
Yes, some mouthwashes do have alcohol, which, ironically, dehydrates you. This means that some of the mouthwashes you’ve been buying actually contain an ingredient that helps make your breath bad.
Not all mouthwashes are created equal. They’re not “all the same.” So make sure to be selective before you spend your hard-earned money on these products.
Mouthwash Can Never Replace a Good Brushing
Don’t try to take a swig of mouthwash in place of brushing your teeth. There is no replacement for a good brushing and flossing session. At the very least, make sure that you are using mouthwash in conjunction with a quality brushing routine.
Alternate Uses For Your Mouthwash
You can keep your mouthguards in a glass of mouthwash, in order to keep them fresh and clean. We’ve heard other crazy uses for mouthwash, like toilet bowl disinfectant, wound care, and even deodorant. We caution you to use mouthwash intelligently and responsibly, of course.
So, the moral of the story is that mouthwash can be a useful tool in your arsenal. Stay away from alcohol-based mouthwash, because it can actually be worse for your breath. If your halitosis is wicked persistent, then get with your dentist at Bedford Dental Group and we can determine if therapeutic mouthwash can benefit your situation.