There are two kinds of people in this world – those who use mouthwash and those who don’t. Okay, okay – so life may be a bit more complicated than that, but when it comes to using mouthwash, some people can’t decide if the minty burn is right for them.
Some claim that mouthwash can do more than just freshen up your breath while others are skeptical that the alcoholic kick could just be a clever ruse. So is mouthwash good for your mouth? The answer is yes and no.
Benefits of Mouthwash:
- Helps prevent cavities – Most mouthwashes contain fluoride which is a key element that can help reduce cavities. There have been many studies that show the benefits of fluoride, we even wrote a past article explaining this further!
- Fights gum disease – Mouthwash containing alcohol and chlorhexidine can help prevent periodontal diseases by eliminating plaque and bacteria from food that lingers in your teeth.
- Soothe canker sores – Mouthwash can disinfect the affected area around a canker sore.
- Safeguard pregnancy – Studies show that periodontal disease could be linked to preterm and under-weight babies. Bacteria in a gum infection can get into a mother’s bloodstream and can stimulate contractions. A recent study by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that mother who used mouthwash throughout their pregnancy were less likely to go into early labor.
Keep in mind that not all mouthwashes are the same and it is important to check for the ingredients we mentioned above to receive the desired effects.
Negatives of Mouthwash:
- Irritate canker sores – Despite what we mentioned above, a mouthwash containing a high amount of alcohol could end up irritating the sore further.
- Mask bigger problems – Mouthwash can definitely help freshen your breath, but keep in mind that it is no substitute for proper oral health. The fresh smell will only be temporary if you have poor dental health.
- Could be linked to oral cancer – The debate on whether mouthwashes containing alcohol could be linked to oral cancer has been going on since the 1970’s. However, the American Dental Association assures us that their research shows no link between the two.
Final Thoughts on Mouthwash:
Using mouthwash is not a substitute for healthy oral health. If you decide to use mouthwash, It is crucial that you continue to brush your teeth twice a day and get regular cleanings from your dentist as well. In addition, each person requires different needs – those with periodontal disease should use a mouthwash with a higher alcohol content to help reduce the bacteria in your mouth. Those who are trying to prevent cavities should use a rinse that contains a high amount of fluoride.
If you have any other questions, feel free to stop by our 11201 Brooklyn Heights office and speak with one of our great dentists.