The Pros of Using Mouthwash

For many Canadians, using mouthwash is part of their oral health routine. Flossing, brushing and rinsing with mouthwash is a ritual many of us follow before we head out to work in the morning or go to bed at night.

Because using mouthwash is so familiar and embedded into our routine, it becomes second nature. But have you ever really considered if there are any advantages of using mouthwash?
The Pros of Using Mouthwash
Mouthwash can help to…

… fight cavities

And this can only be a good thing, right? Cavities are caused by bacteria in the mouth that cling to the surface of your teeth, contributing to tooth decay. If your favourite mouthwash contains fluoride, it is affording you a little bit extra protection by helping to strengthen your teeth’s enamel.

… keep your gums healthy

Again, rinsing away all that nasty bacteria stops it from sticking to your gums. As well as cavities in teeth, bacteria can cause gum inflammation, infection, or gum disease.

… remove stains

Some mouthwashes profess to remove stains from teeth helping to keep your smile white and blemish free.

… get rid of painful mouth ulcers

They may be small but the pain and discomfort is almost off the scale. Mouthwash rinses away the bacteria that causes the inflammation thus your mouth ulcers should heal faster. For this purpose, always use an alcohol-free mouthwash.

… freshen your breath

Knowing you have minty-fresh breath is a boost to your self-confidence, and one less thing to worry about in your busy day.

Using Mouthwash Correctly

You might not give how or when you use your mouthwash much thought. But there is a school of thought that mouthwash should be the last thing you use at night, after brushing your teeth. Try not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes so that the mouthwash has time to act in your mouth.

You should also choose a fluoridated mouthwash to complement your fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride is known to help prevent cavities.

But this is the important bit – using mouthwash alone will not bring about all these advantages as if by magic. Mouthwash will only bring benefits if it is part of a brushing and flossing routine.

But there are some things you need to look out for. Mouthwash, for example, should NOT…

… cause irritation

Just like brushing your teeth too often in a day can cause damage to the tooth enamel, overusing mouthwash can cause inflammation in the mouth. Use mouthwash twice a day, after you brush your teeth, only increasing this frequency if your dentist tells you too.

… be swallowed

Any mouthwash is designed for swilling around the mouth and so accidental consumption of it will make you feel or be sick. This is why mouthwash is not recommended for children under the age of 6. Keep the mouthwash in the front of your mouth, working it well around your teeth and then spit it out.

… cause a dry mouth

Overly-excessive use of mouthwash could cause a dry mouth. You need a certain amount of saliva in your mouth to keep tooth sensitivity, cavities and bad breath at bay. Again, use mouthwash after brushing and flossing twice daily.

… mask oral health issues

Keeping your breath minty fresh is one reason why, as a country, we are in love with mouthwash but did you know that persistent smelly breath could be a sign of a health issue? From stomach problems to a decaying tooth, halitosis (smelly breath) is symptomatic of many health issues. So if you chronic bad breath, ask your dentist to check it out.

Mouthwash is a useful addition to your twice daily teeth cleaning regime. If you are unsure about which mouthwash, why not have a chat with your dentist the next time you have a check-up?