Is Mouthwash Necessary?

Danbury CT Dentist OfficeAds in magazines, commercials on TV, pamphlets at the dentist’s office, and a stroll down the oral health aisle at the local drug store all advertise many options for mouthwash. With all of these choices it may leave you questioning whether mouthwash is necessary and if it is something that you need to incorporate into your daily oral health routine. You most likely understand the importance of brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily, but are those two habits enough?

Mouthwash is never meant to take the place of brushing or flossing, but it can provide a great deal of benefit to many people. Due to genetics, some people are simply more prone to developing cavities than others. For those with a history of being “cavity prone,” incorporating a cavity fighting mouthwash into your daily routine can be especially beneficial. Choosing a mouthwash that contains fluoride will help protect the teeth against cavity development, and strengthen teeth that are vulnerable.

Those who suffer from gingivitis can also reap many benefits from using mouthwash. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontal disease, and in its early stage it can be reversed. Gum disease is a direct result of plaque buildup along the gum line. Flossing is the only way to remove plaque, yet flossing is the most neglected oral health care habit. An antibacterial mouthwash that contains the ingredients alcohol and chlorhexidine can help to kill the acid-producing bacteria within plaque so they do not cause destructive damage. Of course, mouthwash will not remove the plaque (only flossing and scraping at the dentist’s office can do that), but it will help in the prevention and treatment of gingivitis.

Women who are pregnant are often advised to use a mouthwash at least once a day throughout their pregnancies. Extreme hormonal fluctuations occur during pregnancy, leaving the mouth vulnerable to gum disease. Periodontal disease has been directly linked to miscarriage, preterm labor, and low birthweight babies. The gums inside the mouth are living tissues with a direct blood supply to the heart and rest of the body. Any infection inside the mouth can easily pass through the blood stream directly to the uterus and compromise the health of a growing baby and the viability of a pregnancy. Mouthwash can help protect a pregnant mother and her baby.

While there is no substitute for daily flossing and brushing, mouthwash can be an added component that can benefit your oral health.

Posted on behalf of Rolling Hills Dentistry