When you hear the word “mouthwash” do you think mint, fresh, swish, spit? Mouthwashes can contribute to good oral care, although they can’t replace good brushing and flossing habits. Consumers can now choose from products including mouth rinses and mouthwash, with additional terms like natural, clinical, antimicrobial and sugar-free thrown in for good measure. You can educate yourself before adding mouthwash to the preventive dental routine for your family members.
How A Mouthwash Helps Oral Health
Mouthwashes help protect oral health in sevaral ways. The physical action of vigourous swishing can dislodge bits of food. The product may contain plaque-fighting agents to coat the teeth and help avoid the formation of cavities. Some products may contain fluoride to help strengthen tooth enamal. Antimicrobial agents can combat oral bacteria that contribute to tooth decay. Some products contain whitening agents or breath fresheners to lift your breath and your smile.
When Choosing a Mouthwash
The caring staff at your dentist’s office is always glad to answer questions. Here are some thoughts to get you started, if you are choosing a mouthwash for yourself or a family member
For All Ages:
- Look for the American Dental Association Seal of Approval.
- What is the primary purpose of the product? Mouthwashes can multi-task, but make sure ingredients addresses your primary concern.
- Always spit out mouthwash, rather than swallow it.
- Swish for about a half minute to a minute, unless product instructions specifiy otherwise.
- Don’t expect instant results.
- Don’t expect mouthwash to do the job alone. Keep up daily brushing and flossing, and schedule regular dental visits!
Especially for Children:
- Mouthwash is not recommended for children under 6.
- For older children, make sure the product is alcohol-free.
- Experiment with colors and flavors, if your dentist recommends a mouthwash but your child is inconsistent in using it.
Bring Us Your Mouthwash Questions
Let us help you and your family be smart about your oral care routine. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Silver Smiles in Silver City, NM, today at (575) 534-3699.