Should I be using mouthwash?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou probably do a pretty good job at brushing and an ok job at flossing. However, it is likely that you don’t use mouthwash very often. Are you missing out? Just how important is using mouthwash? This article will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using mouthwash. It will also share the perspective of the American Dental Association on the matter.

In the ancient civilizations of China and Egypt, people were known to have used products such as charcoal and fruit in attempt to freshen their mouths, but any positive effects of these products have not been discovered.

It wasn’t until later in the 1800’s that actual mouthwash products were developed. The vast majority of these products contained alcohol as a stabilizing agent. In today’s world, many products have been discovered that serve as a replacement for alcohol in mouth rinses, making more people comfortable with using the product.

Today, hundreds of options exist when it comes to mouthwash. The ADA has stated that mouthwash is not a replacement for proper oral health care, including brushing and flossing, but also that mouthwash can enhance your oral hygiene when using the right product at the right time. There are many reasons one might choose to use mouthwash, and there are many different types of mouthwash, based on your reason for using it. Some of the more common reasons for rinsing with mouthwash include freshening breath, removing plaque and tartar, and treating gingivitis. The ADA recommends consulting with your dentist to find out if mouthwash is right for you, and if so, which mouthwash would most appropriately fit your needs. One should also not that not all mouthwashes have the ADA’s seal of approval, and that you should always look for that seal before purchasing any mouthwash. You may have to try out several different mouthwashes until you find a good fit. I for example, get dry mouth when using certain brands of mouthwash.

Check out this list of mouthwashes that have been officially approved by the ADA.

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Jake the Dentist: