This is a question we often get in our practice and using a mouthwash as an adjunct to regular brushing and flossing can be beneficial for some of the following reasons:
- A mouthwash containing fluoride (such as ACT) helps fight cavities by strengthening your enamel.
- Anti-bacterial mouthwashes (such as Listerine) can help fight bacteria and help keep you gums healthy.
- A whitening mouthwash (Listerine also makes one) can help remove stains and contribute to a whiter appearing smile.
- And of course, mouthwashes certainly do freshen your breath.
There are a few things you need to be aware of when choosing a mouthwash:
- Mouthwashes with a high alcohol content may fight bacteria; however, they can irritate tissue, with prolonged use can cause dry mouth, and not be safe if accidentally swallowed.
- Freshening your breath continually with a mouthwash may cause other health issues.
Once again, a mouthwash is never a substitute for proper brushing and flossing, however in many instances can be a helpful part of a healthy dental routine.
Please feel free to ask one of our knowledgeable hygienists, Dr. Alyson or Dr. Doug if you have any questions.