Mouthrinses have become a big business, with manufactures making claims, like our mouthwash “replaces flossing.” With so many choices when it comes to selecting a mouthrinse, it is easy to see how a person may get confused on what they should be using.
When choosing a mouthwash there are some things to consider:
- Do you get cavities?
- Do your gums bleed?
- Do you have bad breath?
- Is your mouth dry?
- Do you have stains on your teeth?
Making the right decision for a mouthwash depends on your needs.
Do you get cavities?
If someone is at high risk for decay then fluoride mouthwash can help. Fluoride comes from a naturally occurring element and helps to harden the tooth. A person should improve home care, reduce sugar exposure, and rinse daily with fluoride to help prevent decay. Fluoride is available over the counter or in prescription strength at your dental office. The most common brand is ACT or Listerine Restoring. Young and old can benefit from fluoride usage.
Is your mouth dry?
If you have noticed your mouth feeling dry you are not alone. Dry mouth is one of the most common side effects of medications. Alcohol based rinses should be avoided as these will make dry mouth worse. Some common alcohol free brands are:
Crest Pro Health, Listerine Zero, Oasis, and Biotene. Some of these rinses also help to stimulate saliva flow.
Do your gums bleed or do you have bad breath?
If so, you may have gingivitis or periodontal disease. These conditions are best treated by routine dental care and professional cleanings. Rinses are often recommended to help reduce bacterial levels in the mouth on a daily basis and control gingivitis. Listerine is one of the most recommended over the counter antibacterial rinse. Chlorhexidine gluconate (Peridex) is a prescription rinse that is commonly recommended and can be more effective than Listerine due to its lasting effect after the rinse has been used. Peridex actually continues to kill bacteria for up to 30 minutes after use.
Do you get stains on your teeth?
Stains on the teeth can be professionally removed by a dental hygientist, but to help inhibit or reduce stain between visits mouthrinses can help. Most “whitening” rinses have peroxide as their main ingredient. The “fizzing” action of peroxide can help remove stain but peroxide should not be used full strength due to adverse side effects. Some common brands are Peroxyl, Listerine Whitening, Targon.
Many claims are made about mouthrinses, but some fall short. Plax and Scope are popular brands but produce little results.
At your next dental checkup, just ask your dentist or dental hygienist what mouth rinse is best for you.
Today’s post was written by our Dental Hygienist Kelly. Do you have aquestion for either Dr. David or Dr. Janna? We would love to hear from you!
Drs. David and Janna Civils
1114 Magnolia Street