Therapeutic and cosmetic are the two main types of mouthwashes. While cosmetic mouthwashes can temporarily reduce bad breath, they do not attack the cause of bad breath or reduce the bacteria that causes bad breath, plaque, gum disease, or tooth decay. Therapeutic mouthwashes reduce plaque, gingivitis, tooth decay, and bad breath. Mouthwashes are not meant to replace brushing and flossing your teeth. If you have a hard time doing those correctly, using mouthwash can help prevent you from developing cavities and gum disease. When combined with your home care, mouthwash can be very beneficial. The benefits provided depend on the ingredients in the mouthwash, so be sure to read the ingredients. Mouthwashes usually contain one or more of the following:
• Fluoride, which helps reduce and prevent tooth decay
• Antimicrobials, which kill the bacteria that cause bad breath, plaque, and gum disease
• Astringent salt, a deodorizer that temporarily covers bad breath
• Odor neutralizers, which can attack the cause of bad breath
• Whiteners, like peroxide, that can reduce stains on the teeth
Choose a mouthwash that will help the condition that you wish to treat most, as it is sometimes hard to find one mouthwash that does it all. Look for a mouthwash that has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal on the label. The ADA seal recognizes companies that show scientific proof that their products work. You can even find the ADA seal on some generic and store brands.
We welcome you to contact our office today to learn more and to schedule an appointment with our dentist.