Is It Necessary to Use Mouthwash?

May 31, 2023

If you want to have the best possible oral health, it is crucial that you brush your teeth twice per day and floss once per day. There are also some other steps you can add to your oral health routine to get even more benefits. For example, you could investigate the benefits of oil pulling or brushing your teeth with baking soda. You could also consider using mouthwash once every day. While this step can carry some benefits, you may be wondering if it’s absolutely necessary. Today, the team at American Dental would like to share some information with you about mouthwash and whether you actually need it as part of your daily oral health routine.

How Does Mouthwash Work?

When you use mouthwash, it flows into the spaces between your teeth to remove bacteria and plaque that your toothbrush and floss may have missed. This can help to prevent plaque buildup from forming around the gum line and between the teeth, so it won’t harden and become tartar. Removing plaque and bacteria close to the gums is a crucial part of preventing tooth loss, gingivitis, and periodontitis.

Some mouthwashes also contain ingredients that give additional benefits. Cetylpyridinium chloride is an active ingredient that can reduce bad breath. Chlorhexidine may be added to control plaque and gingivitis. Many commercially available mouthwashes also contain fluoride or peroxide to strengthen tooth enamel and whiten teeth, respectively. Some of these ingredients are available over the counter, while others require a prescription.

Do You Need Mouthwash?

While the American Dental Association (ADA) states that using mouthwash is beneficial for your oral health, it is not a replacement for brushing and flossing. It is a helpful addition to your oral health routine, but it is not necessary for everyone. For example, children under 6 years of age should not use mouthwash because they could potentially ingest it, causing harmful side effects like nausea, vomiting, and intoxication (if the mouthwash contains alcohol). As long as they brush and floss every day, your child’s oral health should not be significantly affected if they don’t also use mouthwash. The ADA also warns that mouthwash can interact with ingredients like fluoride in your toothpaste, reducing its effectiveness. For best results, wait at least 30 minutes after brushing to use mouthwash.

Dental Health Services in the Chicago Area

If you are a Chicagoland resident who has questions about whether or not mouthwash is necessary, or about any oral health concerns you may have, the team at American Dental will be happy to help you. We provide affordable dental services in River West Chicago and surrounding communities. Call us at (773) 284-1645 or schedule an appointment online if you need a dental checkup or any other dental services including teeth whitening, orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, emergency dentistry, and more. We can even provide dermal fillers such as Juvederm® to smooth wrinkles and lines around the nose and mouth. American Dental has everything you need to have good oral health and look your best!

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