What type of mouthwash should you be using? After brushing and flossing, using mouthwash can give your mouth a nice, clean finish. But not all rinses are made the same. Depending on their ingredients, some are more effective than others for taking care of certain oral hygiene problems. There is a wide range of over-the-counter and prescription mouthwashes to choose from; your prosthodontist will help you to pick the right one for your dental needs.
When you’re simply looking for something to make your breath smell fresher, cosmetic mouthwash is what you need. When used right after brushing, cosmetic mouthwash is great for rinsing away loose food particles, but it doesn’t have any actual germ-killing properties.
Sodium fluoride is a chemical that helps to fight tooth decay, toughening teeth in the process. Fluoride mouthwash has this chemical as part of its formula, with the aim of helping to keep teeth healthy. The problem with this product is that it’s possible to have too much fluoride. With community water being fluoridated and many toothpaste formulas including it as well, it’s very easy to ingest more than the recommended amount. Too much fluoride can lead to brittle bones and increased fractures, encourage certain thyroid problems and even cause pregnant women to give birth to children with lower IQ scores. A little bit goes a long way with fluoride.
For people with halitosis or certain types of mouth infections, antiseptic mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine gluconate can help. This chemical prevents the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Antiseptic mouthwash can help to heal mouth sores and make your breath smell better, but it’s best used for only short lengths of time. Extended use can cause discolored teeth. If this happens, it can be reversed in your dentist’s office.
Many people have difficulties with alcohol or object to using chemicals in their daily lives. Natural mouthwash formulas are made without the use of alcohol or fluoride but can have the same benefits of those that do. Most commercial natural mouthwash formulas include essential oils, salt, herbs such as echinacea and calendula, mint and aloe vera. Another option for gentler mouthwash is to make your own at home. Mix distilled water and baking soda and use this to rinse your mouth after brushing. If you feel a need for more mineralizing properties, stir in a bit of sea salt.
For patients with gum disease, mouthwash can be serious medicine, not just a quick way to freshen the breath. Prescription strength mouthwash contains chlorhexidine in a prescription dosage. It’s meant to fight gingivitis, help inflamed gums to heal and reduce swelling and bleeding.
Prescription strength mouthwash isn’t useful for fighting periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. During this advanced stage, patients experience receding gums, loose teeth, pus and infection and tooth sensitivity.
In the early stages of gum disease, though, prescription strength mouthwash can destroy harmful bacteria in the mouth. After using it for six months, patients have been tested and found that the level of bacteria in their mouth had been reduced by up to 97 percent. In addition, some mouthwash remains in the mouth after rinsing, so it continues to work for a time after the original use.
Mouthwash is just one very small part of an overall regiment that you’ll need to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. And, hey, when you’re ready to tackle those big dental procedures, only the most skilled Houston prosthodontists will do. Maple Leaf Dental can turn back time, replacing your damaged teeth with artificial ones that even your mother won’t notice. Call us at (281) 497-5558 or email us to get started. Your smile won’t wait forever!
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