How to select the right mouthwash?

Mouthwashes come dime a dozen and people often get confused about which one to buy and we are asked this question frequently – Which mouthwash is the best for me? So here are our tips for you on how to select the right mouthwash which will suit your needs the best. We hope to cover the major kinds of mouthwashes and their uses so that the next time you are out shopping for a mouthwash you know which will work best for you. By the end of this blog, you should be able to differentiate between the main types of mouthwashes, their prominent uses and side effects if any. 

Different kinds of mouthwashes  

  1. Mouthwashes with alcohol – Most mouthwashes are mouthwashes with alcohol as an ingredient in it. It is believed to kill the bacteria in the mouth. Alcohol containing mouthwashes are generally used to freshen breath and also to fight gum diseases. The alcohol tends to break down the bacterial cell walls while killing them. Alcohol mouthwashes can however have some side effects like dry mouth, tooth staining and changes in the taste. But most of these are temporary. The bigger concern with alcohol mouthwashes is that it is risk factor for oral cancer.  Research and studies have shown alcohol puts the mouth cells at more risk towards cancer causing agents. Some uncommon side effects include soreness and ulcerations in the mouth and worsening of bad breath. 
  1. Fluoride mouthwash – Some mouthwashes come with fluoride. They help prevent tooth decay. Fluoride mouthwashes are generally recommended for elderly patients who have a high risk of tooth decay. It is also found to be effective in people suffering from dry mouth and those who have partial dentures. It is not recommended for kids under the age of 7. Fluoride can be toxic hence a fluoride containing mouthwash should not be swallowed even accidently. Fluoride mouthwashes are not available over the counter and need a dentist’s prescription.  
  1. Chlorhexidine mouthwash – This is an antibacterial mouthwash known to be effective against bacteria that cause gum diseases. It is not normally used for getting rid of bad breath but instead to treat people suffering from gum diseases. It is known to reduce inflammation but at the same time long duration usage can cause swelling of the tongue and is also alter taste and cause dry mouth. In rare cases it can even lead to an increase in the formation of tartar. Again, this mouthwash cannot be used without the recommendation of a dentist. 
  1. Natural mouthwash – There are mouthwashes available in the market that are made of up of natural and herbal products. Most of these have essential oils like peppermint, clove, eucalyptus and spearmint oil in them. They are safe and do not have the side effect that one experiences with alcohol mouthwashes. However, they work only superficially to freshen the breath and are not really good against the bacteria in the mouth, tooth decay and or gum diseases. 
  1. Hydrogen peroxide mouthwash – These are more commonly called teeth whitening mouthwashes and are available over the counter. Hydrogen peroxide is known for its anti-microbial properties and promise to reduce stains on the teeth caused from foods, coffee, wine and smoking. These can increase tooth sensitivity and also irritate the gums. If your goal while buying a mouthwash is to whiten your teeth there are better and more effective alternatives available with your dentist. Make sure you speak to your dentist before going for over the counter teeth whitening products. You can also read our blog Is teeth whitening safe to get a good idea about the subject. 

Other things one must know about mouthwashes are that almost all of them have artificial flavors and coloring agents to appear attractive. Most have preservatives, detergents and water as other major ingredients. Make sure you read the label on the mouthwashes and understand what ingredients it contains before buying it. Look out for the ADA seal. An ADA seal by American Dental Association indicates that the mouthwash meets all the requirements of the American Dental Association and that the mouthwash is safe as well as effective to use.   

Please note that mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing your teeth. A mouthwash should be used daily once or twice after brushing and flossing your teeth. Read the instructions on the mouthwash to use it properly. In general, you should swish around 20-25 ml of the mouthwash in your mouth for at least 30 seconds before spitting it out. Ensure that the mouthwash reaches all corners of the mouth before spitting it out. Do not swallow the mouthwash.  A good oral care routine is essential to maintain good oral health. It is important to understand the different kinds of mouthwashes so that you pick one which is best for you. Choosing a good mouthwash for yourself should not be a daunting process and we suggest you speak and take advice of your dentist before purchasing one.  

Did this blog answer all the queries you had about mouthwashes or would you like to know something more in particular? If you have any dental queries, you can always call Ensure Dental Care on 940-274-3229 for more information or to schedule an appointment.  

We are the family dentist near you. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced and professional team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you to the best of our abilities. 

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