Is Mouthwash Necessary?

A frequent question that dentists receive is whether or not mouthwash is a necessary component of oral health care. Media advertisements offer a variety of mouthwash options, yet you have never really used it as a consistent part of your oral routine. While flossing and brushing are essential, not everyone actually needs to incorporate mouthwash into their oral health. Whether or not you need to use mouthwash depends on the health of your mouth and your own oral hygiene habits.

  • Cavity prone: Some people are simply more prone to developing cavities than others. Genetics often determine this, so if your parents are/were prone to cavities, then you are at a higher risk for developing cavities. Using a cavity-fighting mouthwash that contains fluoride will help protect the teeth against the development of cavities by strengthening the tooth enamel.
  • Gingivitis and gum disease: Gingivitis is caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth at the gum line. Bacteria-laden plaque irritates the gum tissues and causes infection. Gingivitis is the first form of gum disease, and it can be easily reversed through a positive change in your oral health care routine. If gum disease reaches later stages, the results can be irreversible and set you up for a lifetime of oral problems. Those with gingivitis should use an antibacterial mouthwash that contains alcohol and chlorhexidine to kill the bacteria inside the mouth. Note: mouthwash will not remove plaque from the teeth – only flossing and regular dental cleanings can do this.
  • Pregnancy: Hormones plaque a huge role in the health of the mouth. Women who are pregnant undergo huge fluctuations in hormones throughout their pregnancies, leaving the mouth vulnerable to gum disease. Periodontal disease has been directly linked to miscarriage, preterm labor, and low birthweight babies. Any type of bacterial infection within the mouth can pass into the blood stream, travel to the uterus, and expose a growing baby to life-threatening issues. Mouthwash can help kill bacteria and protect an expectant mother and her growing baby.

Of course, there is no substitute for flossing, brushing, and keeping regular dental visits. Mouthwash is not meant as a replacement, but as an “add on” for those who may need a little more help keeping their oral health at an optimal level. Contact Clover Smile Studio for our top mouthwash recommendations.

Posted on behalf of Clover Smile Studio

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