A common question our family dentistry team gets asked is whether the patient needs to use mouthwash. Read on to learn if you should use mouthwash every day and learn more about the benefits of mouthwash.
Ask Your Family Dentistry Team About Whether You Need Mouthwash
Just like most dental health questions, it’s usually best to ask your dentist if you need mouthwash specifically based on your oral health. Some people may need to use mouthwash while others may not need it at all. Everyone is different, so it’s important to keep this in mind. However, here is some general information on mouthwash and its purpose in your dental hygiene habits:
Is Mouthwash Needed for Everyone?
Everyone should brush their teeth twice a day and floss at least daily. We all know this. However, is mouthwash included in this recommended dental hygiene practice? Not necessarily. For most people, using mouthwash is a good thing to do as an extra step to keep their smile healthy, but not absolutely necessary for dental health. If you had to choose between brushing your teeth and using mouthwash, you would definitely want to prioritize brushing over mouthwash.
Why You Might Want to Use Mouthwash
So, why do people use mouthwash? Mouthwash does come with many benefits. While it’s not an alternative to brushing and flossing, there are several things it can do, depending on the type you choose. Cosmetic mouthwashes typically are only for temporary breath freshening purposes. However, there are therapeutic mouthwashes that you can find both over the counter and through a prescription from your family dentistry professional.
Each mouthwash has different ingredients for different purposes. However, most therapeutic mouthwashes include antiseptics like alcohol to help kill bacteria in hard-to-reach places. This can help add to the benefits of brushing and flossing. In addition, many mouthwashes also include other ingredients like fluoride to help fight cavities and strengthen the teeth. For instance, some studies have linked using mouthwash with lower rates of plaque and gingivitis.
Why Your Dentist May Recommend Mouthwash
In some cases, your family dentistry team may recommend mouthwash for specific dental health conditions. For instance, there are several mouthwashes that can help with dry mouth by moisturizing ingredients to help your body produce more saliva. There may be mouthwashes that can also help with conditions like tooth sensitivity and dry socket.
How to Use Mouthwash
- Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly
- Pour the recommended amount of mouthwash (usually 3-5 tablespoons) into the cup
- Swish the mouthwash throughout your mouth for between 30 and 60 seconds
- Spit out the mouthwash
It’s important to note that mouthwash isn’t recommended for young children because they may not have enough control over their swallow reflexes. Swallowing large amounts of mouthwash can be dangerous. Therefore, it’s best to avoid mouthwash for children under six years old. Before having your child use mouthwash, you might also want to have them practice swishing, gargling, and spitting out with water first to train themselves to avoid swallowing mouthwash.
Family Dentistry from The ToothBooth
Get the dental care you need from our team at The ToothBooth. Our dentist, Dr. Taha, offers years of experience and training to provide you with a wide range of family dentistry services, from preventative care to oral surgeries. We are a dental office located just off of Katy Freeway and are proud to serve the entire Katy area, including Cinco Ranch. In addition to regular hours, we are also an emergency dentist offering urgent dental care for issues that can’t wait. For a dental team you can trust, choose The ToothBooth for all your family and cosmetic dentistry needs. Call us now at (832) 437-0841 to book an appointment!