There are many different types of mouthwash on the market. Some tout germ-killing abilities, others emphasize fluoride content, and some claim to whiten teeth while freshening the breath. These are all great benefits, but at Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria, we ask: will they meet your oral care needs?
Many people wonder if mouthwash should be part of their dental routine. Brushing and flossing have the greatest impact on dental health, so is mouthwash necessary?
As long as you follow the instructions on the bottle, mouthwash may slightly benefit dental health. Rinsing with a mouthwash with fluoride can’t hurt your teeth, but allowing a bit of diluted toothpaste to stay on tooth surfaces after brushing probably has the same effect.
People coping with bad breath often believe that mouthwash can solve the issue. Actually, mouthwash products that contain alcohol can make it worse by causing dry mouth. Mouthwash without alcohol (fluoride rinses) are usually better for freshening breath.
Bottom line? Never substitute mouthwash for proper brushing and flossing. If you use mouthwash, choose one with fluoride and no alcohol.