There are so many dental care products on the market today that it can be extremely confusing. Even if you exclusively use toothpaste, dental floss, and toothbrushes recommended by your dentist, there are still multiple types of each brand—and conflicting marketing claims to go with them!
As a result, many people are unsure of whether they need certain products for the health of your teeth, or if they just saw an ad! Probably the most misunderstood of these products is mouthwash.
Why? A dentist’s answer to whether you need to use mouthwash is rarely straightforward. Essentially, the answer is no. Proper flossing once a day and brushing twice a day should remove plaque, prevent cavities, and freshen your breath. That said, it’s impossible to know how well you’re cleaning your teeth on any given day, and mouthwash does provide a number of benefits.
Read on to learn Russo Dentistry’s mouthwash tips before you shop to save time, money, and overall oral health!
How and When to Rinse
As a compliment to (not a replacement for!) brushing and flossing, plan to swish mouthwash about a minute or two after brushing. This allows the fluoride in your toothpaste to settle and protect your teeth.
Then, pour about a tablespoon amount (you don’t usually need a whole capful) and swish it around in the front of your mouth—working your way to a gargle in the back of your throat—for 30 seconds to a minute.
Outside of your morning and nighttime daily dental care routines, you may also incorporate rinsing with water after meals to help your teeth stay clean throughout the day—but you shouldn’t use mouthwash more than twice a day.
Choosing a Mouthwash
Oral health needs vary from person to person. Those with chronic dry mouth or other bad-breath-causing complications often benefit from mouth rinses formulated specifically to treat them. As always, talk to your dentist to evaluate your unique needs.
For most, however, any mouthwash on the market that contains fluoride and is certified by the American Dental Association will make the cut. One ingredient to avoid, though? Alcohol. Look for labels that say either say they’re alcohol-free or have it listed far down on the ingredients. Outside of any personal preferences, fluoride is really all you need in a mouthwash!
Remember, mouthwash is only meant to eliminate any particles, plaque, or other bacteria left behind from brushing and flossing. It’s not a replacement for regular dental care and it also can’t treat any underlying issues.
If you’re looking to get results from your mouthwash – particularly one that claims to be whitening – it’s probably a good idea to lower your expectations. A shining, bright white smile can only be maintained through regular oral health care including cleanings with your dentist, and can be achieved through cosmetic dentistry!
No matter what your smile goals are, you’ll need the advice and expertise of a professional dentist. Contact Dr. Russo Dentistry in Raleigh today to get yours!