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Should I Use Mouthwash, and If So Which One(s) Are Recommended?

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.

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