Mouthwash is a necessary part of an oral healthcare regimen because it reaches areas your toothbrush and floss may have missed. It can also do a great job of killing stubborn bacteria in your mouth, especially on the back of your tongue. The best mouthwash has the ADA (American Dental Association) approval to indicate it’s safe and effective. Also, choose a mouthwash that’s most relevant to your current oral health concerns, such as bad breath, dry mouth, stained teeth, or gingivitis.
Best Mouthwash for Gingivitis
When choosing mouthwash to treat and prevent gingivitis, check the ingredients for fluoride, chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), and antimicrobial essential oils. Fluoride, cetylpyridinium chloride, and certain essential oils like menthol (peppermint) fight bacteria that cause gingivitis. Chlorhexidine reduces plaque to help prevent gingivitis.
If you suspect you have gingivitis, you should see a dentist for treatment. A mouthwash might not be enough to clear it up. Your teeth and gums may have damaged either from the gingivitis or what’s causing gingivitis. Only a dentist will be able to determine what you need to get rid of gingivitis and restore oral health. Usually, all you’ll need is a professional teeth cleaning from your dentist, which Lovett Dental Heights offers. We recommend scheduling cleanings twice a year to protect your dental health. During professional teeth cleaning, we remove tartar, plaque, and bacteria from your teeth. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash help in limiting bacteria and plaque but aren’t able to remove tartar.
When gingivitis remains untreated, it can lead to many other oral health problems like periodontitis, receding gums, and tooth loss. If we find other oral health problems with your teeth during your checkup for gingivitis treatment, we will have to treat those issues too to prevent gingivitis from returning. Crooked teeth and broken fillings are risk factors for gingivitis, so we advise having these problems resolved.
Choosing Mouthwash for Dry Mouth
Pick a mouthwash that doesn’t have alcohol in it if you have dry mouth. Alcohol-based mouthwash can be irritating if you are struggling with dry mouth. Mouthwash for dry mouth is specially formulated to improve your comfort for hours after using it. Check the ingredients for xylitol because this chemical compound boosts saliva production. As an additional benefit, xylitol kills S. mutans bacteria, which is a type of bacteria that causes plaque. Some dry mouth treatment mouthwash requires one minute of swishing, so make sure to read the instructions for whichever brand you buy.
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If you think you need a more powerful mouthwash than you can find over the counter, you can ask us for a prescription. Most people, however, won’t need a prescription mouthwash.
Mouthwash can be used to whiten your teeth if it contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These ingredients can remove surface stains from your teeth and whiten teeth as long as the mouthwash use is consistent. It may take months for your teeth to become whiter from a whitening mouthwash, so you must have patience and dedication.
If you’re choosing mouthwash to eliminate bad breath, check for antimicrobial ingredients and essential oils. In particular, you want ingredients that kill sulfur-causing bacteria since this bacteria is a culprit behind bad breath. Good ingredients include menthol (peppermint oil), castor oil, citric acid, and chlorine dioxide. Alcohol doesn’t have to be in the formula to treat bad breath. Some types of bad breath mouthwash temporarily alter your taste buds, a minor downside you might come across.
Rinsing with mouthwash is an essential part of oral hygiene. If you currently have bad breath or gingivitis, choose a mouthwash that treats those concerns. Once you have restored oral health, you can continue using the same mouthwash. You can also switch to one that reduces plaque and cavities to maintain the best oral health possible. You can ask your dentist for recommendations on specific varieties of mouthwash to buy for your needs.