best mouthwash -- man in purple shirt pouring mouthwash into a dispenser cup

How to Pick the Best Mouthwash

Everyone knows that daily brushing and flossing are vital for keeping your mouth healthy. But what about mouthwash? Should an oral rinse play a part in your oral care routine? And what’s the best mouthwash for keeping gums and teeth healthy? Here is some advice from the friendly dentists at Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry on selecting and using mouthwash. 

Why should I use mouthwash?

When most people think about mouthwash, they think about keeping their breath fresh. While mouthwash certainly does help ward off bad breath, it can also do a lot more. 

Some types of mouthwash include ingredients like antimicrobials that help kill the bacteria that cause bad breath. Those same bacteria are the ones that can also cause gum disease and cavities. So, while mouthwash does make your breath smell nice, it also adds an extra layer of protective defense. 

Remember—mouthwash is not a replacement for daily brushing and flossing. However, it can play an important role in overall mouth health when using all three together. 

Which mouthwash should I use? 

There are two types of mouthwash on the market today: 

  • Cosmetic mouthwash is designed to eliminate bad breath. However, it can still provide added health benefits by helping to sweep away any food particles left in your mouth after brushing and flossing. 
  • Therapeutic mouthwash tackles specific oral health concerns, which makes it the best type for preventing for gum disease, tooth decay, and dry mouth.

You can find cosmetic mouthwash at any local pharmacy or general retailer. Therapeutic mouthwash can be obtained either over-the-counter or by prescription, depending on the active ingredient. 

When shopping for an over-the-counter mouthwash: 

  • Talk to your dentist first about your oral health concerns and get their recommendations on which active ingredients or brands to look for. 
  • Carefully read the ingredients to make sure the mouthwash will do what you need it to. 
  • Look for mouthwash with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance so you know the product is safe and has been tested thoroughly.

What’s the best way to use mouthwash?

While using mouthwash is an easy concept—pour into the mouth, swish, and spit—there’s a little more to it if you want to reap all of the benefits mouthwash can provide. Here are a few tips on how to properly use mouthwash: 

  • Before using mouthwash for the first time, read the recommended dosage and frequency information on the label. 
  • Make sure your teeth are completely clean from brushing and flossing before using mouthwash.
  • Take the recommended dosage of mouthwash and swish it around your mouth. You should usually keep it in your mouth for 30 seconds to one minute.
  • Make sure to also gargle it a bit in the back of your throat to make sure it fully circulates around your entire mouth. 
  • After you rinse and spit, refrain from eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes to let the benefits take effect. 
  • Because mouthwash often contains a lot of alcohol and/or fluoride, take care not to swallow, as it could upset your stomach. 

Oral Health Care in Peoria, Arizona

When used properly, mouthwash can be a very important addition to your daily oral care regimen. Not only does it help eliminate bad breath, it also helps remove lingering food particles missed during brushing and flossing. A quick swish once or twice a day can help you fight cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. 

If you would like to add mouthwash to your daily routine, ask us about it at your next visit. Call Mettler and Griego Family Dentistry today at 623-487-4870 to schedule a consultation and get our recommendations on the best mouthwash for your specific oral health needs. 

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