If you want to use a mouthwash as part of your daily oral care routine, it’s important to know what a mouthwash is and what is does and does not do.
A mouthwash or rinse does not replace a regular oral hygiene routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing. The main function of most mouthwashes is to freshen breath, although if you suffer from severe chronic bad breath (halitosis), talk to your dentist about other ways to address the causes of the problem and manage your condition.
That said, some types of mouthwash, such as fluoride rinses, can help protect teeth against acids produced by plaque bacteria if you use them after you have thoroughly brushed and floss your teeth. And your dentist may prescribe a specific mouth rinse if you are recovering from a fungal infection or a bout of gingivitis.
But if your mouthwash needs are for basic breath freshening, you can read reviews and ask friends which products they like. Mouthwashes and rinses are available in different flavours such as mint and cinnamon, and you can keep more than one type on hand for variety.
Benefits of using mouthwash
There are various benefits of using mouthwash. Please see some of the benefits below:
- Freshens Breath - Mouthwash kills bacteria associated with causing bad breath
- Prevents plaque build-up - Helps prevent plaque build-up between brushing
- Removes particles - It can be used before brushing to rinse out any base particles
- Reduces cavities - Reduces the chances of cavities forming
- No alcohol burn - Gentle flavour for pleasant in mouth experience
What is the best mouthwash for you?
Adding a mouthwash or rinse to your oral care routine helps to freshen breath and improve the health of your mouth. Oral-B has a variety of top mouthwashes available to choose from. It’s important to understand what options are available to you and what to consider when choosing a mouthwash or rinse. Here are some factors to take into consideration:
Alcohol - Yes or No?
Alcohol is found in many mouthwashes and rinses on the market. If you have young children, teens, or are a recovering alcoholic, you may want to choose an alcohol-free mouthwash product to avoid any problems.
For those who suffer from tooth sensitivity or are recovering from a dental procedure, you may find the ingredients in mouthwash irritating. Consider trying an alcohol-free mouthwash, which contains ingredients that are soothing and gentle on your teeth and gums.
Some dental rinses contain anti-plaque ingredients, which not only help control bad breath but also help to prevent plaque buildup on the teeth.
See Oral-B’s complete line of mouthwashes and rinses to choose the right one for you.
How to choose the best mouthwash
There are various types of mouthwashes and rinses on the market. Understanding the differences will help in selecting the right rinse to use.
Types of Rinses
Mouthwashes freshen your breath and help wash away food particles, but they are not a replacement for a regular routine of brushing twice-daily and flossing daily. Most standard over-the-counter mouthwashes contain breath-freshening ingredients but do not contain fluoride unless the label says otherwise.
A fluoride mouth rinse works by protecting your teeth from acids produced by bacterial plaque. The fluoride in a fluoride rinse integrates itself into the enamel coating of your teeth to help protect against cavities. This is not a substitute for brushing twice-daily and flossing daily. The fluoride in a rinse incorporates into the enamel coating of your teeth, and it can help protect against cavities
Chlorhexidine Gluconate Rinse
Pros: Chlorhexidine gluconate rinses are highly-effective prescription treatments commonly marketed in formulations containing 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate, with 11.6% alcohol, with antibacterial properties. An alcohol-free formula has been introduced that is reportedly as effective as formulas with alcohol. Chlorhexidine rinses help to control and kill the bacteria in your mouth that cause gum disease.
Chlorhexidine has powerful antibacterial properties, and can be especially helpful in maintaining a healthy mouth after a teeth deep cleaning procedure such as tooth scaling and root planing.
Cons: Chlorhexidine mouthwash can cause brown stains on teeth, because chlorhexidine has been shown to bind to both hard and soft tissues. So if your dentist prescribes a chlorhexidine wash for a short time while you're recovering from gum disease treatment, try not to drink too much coffee, tea, red wine, or consume any foods that may be likely stain your teeth. Also, chlorhexidine mouthwashes may not be the best choice if you have tooth crowns or caps made of composite or glass ionomer, as these materials may stain.
In general, it's not necessary to make a chlorhexidine mouthwash a long-term part of your oral care routine
Some people consider using a mouthwash as part of their daily oral care routine, but are discouraged by the alcohol content. Rinsing for the recommended length of time with an alcohol-containing product (many mouthwashes are about 20 percent alcohol) is uncomfortable. Others are worried about the fact that the 20 percent alcohol content is enough to cause illness in children or teens who experiment by drinking mouthwash.
As alternative Oral-B offers alcohol-free mouthwash that provides similar oral health benefits to a typical alcohol-containing product. Consider a mouthwash with CPC (cetylpyridinium chloride). This ingredient is found in many health care products. CPC has been shown to be safe and effective. In a mouth rinse, it binds to the surface of germs and causes them to burst, which helps reduce their build-up on the teeth.
What you need to remember
The main difference between a mouthwash and a rinse is that mouthwash freshens your breath, while rinses protect your teeth from acid.
Remember, a mouthwash or a fluoride mouth rinse should be used after you finish your tooth brushing and flossing routine. Also, keep in mind that mouthwashes or mouth rinses are not recommended for children younger than 6 years old, because kids that age may be inclined to swallow the rinses rather than spit them out.