Do dentists recommend using mouthwash?
Although mouthwash does have some benefits, such as reducing gum disease and tooth decay, and giving a sense of fresh breath, it doesn’t actually bring about anything added per se to what brushing and flossing already achieves.
Removing plaque can only be achieved through the brushing motion, and while mouthwash kills bad bacteria in the mouth, it unfortunately also kills good bacteria.
Cautions of using mouthwash:
- Alcohol content: some brands of mouthwash can have a concentrated alcohol percentage in them. This can cause the mouth to dry out, and this has been linked in some cases to oral cancer. If you like the fresh feeling after using mouthwash, try opting for a non-alcohol formula.
- Tooth staining: some mouthwashes contain an active ingredient called chlorhexidine, which can cause tooth staining and altered sensation of taste if used over a prolonged period of time. This type of mouthwash is generally prescribed by your dentist as it can help heal your gums, however should only be used over short periods of time.
Overall, while using mouthwash now and then is okay, it shouldn’t be necessary for you to have fresh breath. If you’re finding yourself with bad breath after brushing and flossing, there may be another underlying cause.
If you enjoy using mouthwash in your dental hygiene routine, make sure you’re opting for one that is alcohol free.
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