Brushing and flossing are the two non-negotiable components of your oral care routine at home. However, many patients question whether they should “go the extra mile” by also rinsing with mouthwash. Is mouthwash essential to a healthy smile? The answer can vary from patient to patient.
Most people who are committed to their oral health do not need to use mouthwash. Flossing and brushing are typically enough to remove food debris and plaque and ward off dental problems. However, mouthwash can be the perfect supplement for certain individuals who are susceptible to decay, bad breath and gum disease.
If you are questioning whether you should start adding mouthwash to your daily dental hygiene routine, ask yourself the following questions:
Are You Prone to Cavities?
There are many reasons (some beyond your control) that make you more vulnerable to tooth decay than your friend or family member. In fact, there are certain genetic factors that can increase your risk for getting cavities. In such cases, a mouthwash that contains fluoride can be highly beneficial to protect your teeth.
Do You Suffer from Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It is marked by gums that are puffy, red or bleed easily due to the irritation of plaque accumulation along the gum line. To stop the progression of gingivitis, an antibacterial mouthwash is an excellent idea. This type of mouth rinse contains both alcohol and chlorhexidine to help kill bacteria inside the mouth.
Are You Pregnant?
Women who are pregnant should always speak with their dentist about using mouthwash. However, pregnant women are also more prone to gum disease due to surging hormones that impact gum tissues. If the gums become diseased or infected during pregnancy, the health risks can pass on to the baby, resulting in low birth-weight or premature delivery. Therefore, the extra step of using mouthwash during pregnancy can serve to protect both mother and child, especially if nausea is making it difficult to brush well.
At Avalon Dental Group, we are always open to discussing extra ways you can protect your oral health. If you are considering using mouthwash, please ask us for advice and guidance about which product is best for your unique smile.