Is Mouthwash Good for My Teeth?

Teeth of woman using mouthwash

Many people use mouthwash every day for the refreshing feel that it gives your mouth, that leaves you feeling ready for the day.  

However, this wash has many more benefits than simply giving you fresh and minty breath, and there are countless health benefits related to mouthwash. Experts agree that there is both good and bad sides to using this product, so here is your ultimate guide to mouthwash. 


Mouthwash Pros 

It fights cavities—One important benefit to mouthwash is that it can cut down on cavities. Using mouthwash daily can drastically decrease your chances of getting cavities.  

It helps prevent gum disease—Periodontal disease is caused by gums and sockets getting inflamed and infected due to the plaque and food that can linger on teeth. Antibacterial mouthwash may help to prevent against gum diseases.  

It soothes canker sores—It can soothe canker sores that develop inside the mouth as well. The alcohol in the wash reduces the level of bacteria in the surrounding area.  


Mouthwash Cons  

It can irritate sores—Be careful with using mouthwash to treat your canker sores, however, because if the alcohol content is too high in your wash, there is a risk of irritating your sores further. If you notice that you have a canker sore, take a week off of your regular mouth rinse.   

It can be misused—Another potential problem associated with using mouthwash is that it is sometimes used as a substitute for brushing teeth. This is a problem because while mouthwash is a great after rinse for brushing your teeth, it is not effective enough to replace it entirely. As long as you keep up your normal brushing, you’ll have no problem with using it.  

Links to oral cancer—Finally, there have been studies on the link between oral cancer and mouthwash since 1970. While this only deals with mouthwashes that contain alcohol, it is important to consider these studies when you are using rinses with higher alcohol contents.  

It’s important to remember that there are alcohol-free options of mouthwash that you can use without worry that the alcohol within will increase your chance of oral cancer. For the most part, though, you shouldn’t stress about the risk of oral cancer from this rinse anymore than you do about your nightly glass of wine.  

Generally, most of the common negative side effects are caused by misuse.  


The Takeaway 

In the end, for the question of “is mouthwash good for you?”, the answer is a slightly complicated yes and no.  

When they’re used properly, there should be no problem with having these products to reap the many health benefits that they have to offer. It is when mouthwash is misused and abused that it can potentially lead to serious issues. 

If you are simply planning to use it as a rinse after your normal brushing, then mouthwash away! But when it is used as a lone substitute for regular oral hygiene, it becomes a problem to use this type of product. It is not intended to be used as a replacement for brushing, and will never be able to remove plaque in the same way as a toothbrush. 

Finally, here are some of the best recommended mouthwashes for you to use.  

  • Crest Pro-Health Multiprotection Rinse—this is an alcohol-free option that prevents the dry mouth that is sometimes caused by those with alcohol. 
  • Oxyfresh Lemon Mint Mouthwash—who says mouthwash can only be in a minty flavor? This rinse contains aloe vera and a lemony taste that pairs well with the peppermint. 
  • Listerine Zero Clean Mint Mouthwash—this is another alcohol-free option that avoids the risk of oral cancer that has shown to be linked to those options with alcohol.  

With any of these options and appropriate use, you’re bound to feel fresher than with just brushing your teeth alone without having to worry about the adverse side effects. 

If you want to learn more about any oral care products, ask your dentist! Here at Hamptons Dental we’re more than happy to discuss your home dental health routine during your visit. Make an appointment with us today!

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