Every single person who’s ever visited a dentist knows the importance of regular flossing and brushing. But what about using mouthwash to supplement your oral health? While some people use mouthwash in place of minty chewing gum to freshen their breath, others incorporate it into their oral care regimen (and swear by it, too). What’s your experience with mouthwash? 

Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut answer as far as whether you should be using a mouthwash formula in tandem with regular flossing and brushing. The answer to “Will using mouthwash help me prevent cavities?” is “yes and no.” 

Keep reading below in today’s blog post from our Denver, NC dentists as we dive a little deeper into the nuances of mouthwash. To find the best mouthwash for your needs, visit this blog post. Let’s get started! 

Is Mouthwash Right For You? 

Targeting Plaque and Gingivitis

Most types of mouthwash are excellent at freshening your breath — the vast majority of people know this. But mouthwash has an added benefit in the sense that it also helps remove stubborn plaque lodged in the nooks and crannies between your teeth, making it that much easier to have a nearly plaque-free smile after you’re done brushing and flossing. 

Most mouthwash brands also effectively target gingivitis and other forms of oral disease by killing germs. If you struggle to brush your gums like you should, swishing around a gingivitis-targeting mouthwash is sure to provide you with notable oral health benefits. 

Reduced Bacteria Levels

Brushing and flossing may help remove a lot of the bacteria built up in your mouth after eating, drinking, and breathing, but it doesn’t eliminate all of the bacteria. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of 100% of the bacteria in your mouth at any given time. But if you’re looking to reduce your bacteria levels as much as possible, rinsing with a specialized mouthwash is the way to go. 

The American Dental Association lists several different types of mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. 

Saliva: Natural Mouthwash

In your search for the perfect mouthwash (or determining if it’s worth using mouthwash in the first place), it’s important to remember that your body uses a natural type of mouthwash: your saliva! As gross as that may sound, saliva works hard as your mouth’s constant source of natural mouthwash. As an extracellular fluid secreted by your salivary glands, saliva consists of 99.5% water in addition to electrolytes, mucus, white blood cells, epithelial cells, enzymes, antimicrobial agents, and lysosomes. 

Your saliva may not be minty fresh, but it is extremely useful in constantly combating oral health diseases. 

Different Mouthwashes For Different Purposes

As we outlined in this blog post, not all mouthwash products are created equally. In fact, there are multiple categories of mouthwashes (or “mouth rinses,” as the ADA puts it), that each contain different oral health values. While these values aren’t necessarily quantifiable, their individual or specialized purpose is clear. 

Some mouth rinses contain fluoride for cavity protection, while many of them are designed for general plaque and gingivitis control. Many help target bad breath, and some are even designed specifically for dentures. 

To make your search for a mouth rinse product easier, just look for an all-around mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Approval. If your mouth is more on the sensitive side, be sure to get a product that’s alcohol-free. 

Flossing and Brushing Can’t Be Replaced

Now, with all of this mouthwash information in mind, it’s vitally important to remember that using a mouth rinse is not a suitable replacement for brushing and flossing your teeth. Like any dentist in Denver, NC, it’s our responsibility to tell you to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Will using a mouth rinse product make your oral health worse? Absolutely not! Should you use mouthwash in replace of brushing or flossing? No. 

In short, rinsing your mouth with mouthwash and flossing and brushing means that you’re going the extra mile for your smile. 

Contact Our Dentists In Denver, NC To Learn More

The team at Summit Family Dentistry is here for you! Get in touch with us directly to connect with our Denver, NC dental office. 

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