Mouthwash Benefits

At Bellevue Family Dentistry one of the most frequent questions patients ask us during their dental checkup and cleanings is usually not how to use the toothbrush or floss, but the mouthwash.  “Which mouthwash do you recommend?”

One of the most beneficial yet cost effective method of maintaining great oral health is keeping up with a daily plan of twice a day brushing of two minutes each session and daily flossing.  Using mouthwash can be a helpful adjunct to the daily brush and floss as part of your daily routine.  These three habits together can help you decrease tooth decay, lower chance of getting gum disease, and help keep your breath fresh.

There are many mouthwashes over the counter offered to the consumer, many of which do not require a prescription.  Each mouthwash could have different effects on your oral health, depending on its active ingredients and intended use.  Below are some factors to think about when you are trying to decide which mouthwash to use.

Mouthwash Criteria

  • Make sure the mouthwash you choose is ADA (American Dental Association) approved.  Non ADA approved mouthwash may contain ingredients harmful to your oral and systemic health.
  • Some mouthwashes are advertised to stop bad breath.  Though all mouthwashes in general can help with bad breath (halitosis) many mouthwashes simply mask the odor and is not a permanent solution.  Seek your dentist about a possible prescription mouthwash.
  • Antiseptic mouthwashes can help decrease bacterial levels in your mouth, and may help improve gum health.
  • Bottled water is a common form of fluid intake.  Be advised though unlike tap water, bottled water typically do not contain fluoride.  It would be recommended to consult with your dentist about a possible fluoride supplement or fluoride rinse to maintain your teeth’s strength. 
  • If you experience any lingering uncomfortable and burning feeling in your cheek and gums, immediately discontinue use of the mouthwash and seek your dentist or physician for advice.

If you have any questions or concerns on how to choose a mouthwash, feel free to ask Dr. Chien during your next checkup visit in our Bellevue, WA office.