It is advertised in magazines. There are commercials for it during your favorite TV shows. You are even bombarded with options every time you walk down the oral care aisle at your grocery store. But is mouthwash really necessary? The answer is more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no”.
For those who floss daily, brush their teeth frequently throughout the day, visit the dentist twice a year and not predisposed to cavities – mouthwash may not be a critical component to good oral health. However, these qualifying patients are few and far between. Mouthwash is a beneficial addition to your oral health routine if you are not an avid flosser and/or you occasionally skip brushing your teeth.
How Does Mouthwash Work?
Mouthwash contains ingredients that kill harmful bacteria that produce the dental plaque that coats your teeth each day. Dental plaque is extremely dangerous to your teeth because plaque is a reaction between oral bacteria and the acids that they produce. When acids are allowed to remain on your tooth enamel, they will eat holes in the teeth: these are known as cavities.
Are You a Candidate for Mouthwash Use?
Flossing removes plaque by scraping the smooth surfaces of the teeth and detaching plaque. Yet, most people neglect this aspect of oral health. If you are not flossing on a daily basis, mouthwash can help kill the harmful bacteria living inside the oral plaque. Mouthwash will not remove plaque from the teeth, but by choosing a mouthwash with the American Dental Association’s (ADA’s) seal of approval, you can ensure that you are combating the bacteria within your mouth.
Mouthwash is also extremely beneficial to women who are pregnant. Extreme hormonal changes that occur throughout pregnancy leave the gum tissues tender and often vulnerable to gum disease. Because the blood stream in the human body runs continuously, any infection inside the mouth can easily travel to a woman’s uterus. Gum disease during pregnancy has been directly linked to miscarriage, preterm labor, and low birthweight babies. Adding mouthwash to your daily routine during pregnancy can protect both you and your growing baby.
If you would like to learn more about how mouthwash can benefit you or get a recommendation on which brand and type is best for you, contact Muccioli Dental. Keep in mind that mouthwash should be an addition to your oral care routine and never take the place of regular flossing and brushing.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Randy Muccioli, Muccioli Dental
Muccioli Dental - Johns Creek Dentist
6300 Hospital Pkwy, Suite 275
Johns Creek, Georgia 30097
Phone: (678) 389-9955