Mouth Rinses – A Compliment, Not a Substitute for Daily Oral Hygiene

Mouth wash and mouth rinses can play a key role in optimizing your daily oral hygiene to maintain healthy teeth and gums. However, mouth rinses and mouth washes are not a substitute for brushing and flossing.  They serve to compliment the actions and the benefits of brushing and flossing.  When used properly and as recommended by your family dentist or hygienist, mouth rinses can reduce breath odors, aid in preventing tooth decay and help reduce plaque.

The following lists different types of mouth rinses available today:

Mouth Rinses with Fluoride

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening teeth enamel – the white, hard substance that covers teeth. For the majority of people, fluoride mouth rinses are not an essential part of their daily oral hygiene. The fluoride found in toothpastes used in daily brushing regimens provides an adequate amount, but there are occasions when fluoride mouth rinses are important.

People with abnormal mouth dryness might use fluoride containing mouth rinses. Severe dryness in the mouth can cause excessive amounts of bacteria to grow which can lead to tooth decay. Supplementing brushing and flossing with a fluoride mouth rinse can help fight this problem.

Mouth Rinses to Freshen Breath

There are a variety of mouth rinses available that will make your breath smell good, but don’t provide any long-term oral health benefits. These cosmetic type mouth rinses serve only to fight halitosis (bad breath), not to reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gingivitis.

Anti-Plaque and Anti-Gingivitis Mouth Rinses

Anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis mouth rinses are a good way to enhance the effectiveness of daily brushing and flossing.  These types of mouth rinses kill harmful bacteria.

American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval

As with all oral hygiene products, always look for the ADA seal of approval on the packaging of mouth rinses. The ADA seal provides assurances that the product has been independently tested and verified.

Prescription Mouth Rinses

While most mouth rinses are available over-the-counter, your dentist can prescribe stronger mouth rinses for those who need help with advanced forms of plaque and gingivitis.

Talk to Your Dentist and Hygienist

Discuss mouth rinses and overall hygiene with your general dentist and hygienist to see what products are right for you and your unique needs.