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Posted on Aug 31, 2015 in Dental Health, Healthy Smiles

Does Mouthwash Work?

does-mouthwash-workIf 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 Dr. Phillips 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 Dr. Phillips may prescribe a specific mouth rinse if you are recovering from a fungal infection or a bout of gum problems.

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 flavors such as mint and cinnamon, and you can keep more than one type on hand for variety. If you aren’t sure whether you’d like the taste or sensation of a mouthwash, ask Dr. Phillips about getting a free mouthwash sample that you can try. Also, if you want a mouthrinse to prevent cavities or kill germs and control plaque, Dr. Phillips can help you determine which is best.

Dr. Phillips also advises that some mouthwashes can actually stain your teeth. This is due to a chemical called chlorhexidine gluconate — an antiseptic designed to reduce bacteria and remove plaque, both of which can lead to bad breath. However, when regularly exposed to the teeth it can cause brown patches on the enamel because of a chemical reaction. Be sure to check the label carefully to avoid this chemical.

Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing plaque. Call Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth dentist if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about mouthwashes or rinses.