By Mike White, DDS
May 16, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Not sure if you should use mouthwash regularly? Chehalis, WA, dentist Dr. Michael White discusses a few benefits of using the product.mouthwash

What does mouthwash do?

Mouthwash offers a few other benefits in addition to making your breath minty fresh, including:

  • Washing Away Plaque: Mouthwash rids your mouth of plaque and food debris. Plaque, a sticky coating that contains bacteria, covers your teeth and causes tooth decay. Mouthwash helps loosen and remove plaque.
  • Strengthening Tooth Enamel: Strong acids form when plaque mingles with sugars and carbohydrates in foods. Those acids weaken your tooth enamel, making it easier for cavities to develop. Fluoridated mouthwashes help rebuild weak spots in the enamel, reducing the chance that you'll get a cavity.
  • Killing Bacterial: Anti-cavity mouthwashes kill bacteria before it can combine with sugars and carbohydrates. Bacteria on your teeth aren't the only problem. The microorganisms are also found on your tongue and on the lining of your mouth. Eventually, they may migrate to your teeth. Mouthwash offers an effective way to rid your entire mouth of bacteria.

When should I use mouthwash?

Mouthwash can be used before or after you brush. If you prefer to use it before you brush, it may help loosen plaque. Using the product after brushing helps wash away plaque dislodged by brushing. Swish a capful of mouthwash in your mouth for about a minute for best results. After you spit it out, don't rinse to ensure that the protective coating remains in your mouth.

Are all mouthwashes the same?

While all mouthwashes claim to freshen your breath, they don't all contain the same ingredients. When you shop in Chehalis stores, look for brands that offer fluoride and antimicrobials or anti-cavity protection for maximum benefit. In some cases, mouthwash can actually make your breath worse. Products that contain alcohol dry out your mouth, which may cause bad breath. Read product labels to ensure that the product you choose doesn't contain alcohol.

Can children use mouthwash?

Mouthwash isn't recommended for children under age 6. If your kids are between 6 or 12, spend some time supervising their use of the product to ensure that they don't swallow it.

Mouthwash, good oral hygiene and regular dental exams will help keep your teeth in good condition. If it's been 6 months or more since you've visited your dentist, then you should call your Chehalis, WA, dentist Dr. Michael White at (360) 748-0168 to schedule an appointment.

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