What is mouthwash? Why do we use it? Can I just use mouthwash, in place of brushing and flossing? Do I need to use it? What does mouthwash actually DO?
These questions and more are what I want to answer in this article. There are many types of mouthwash out there and each of them has its own ingredients. Some are better than others. Some may even not be that good for you. Some are made with all-natural ingredients and some aren’t.
What is the purpose of mouthwash?
Mouthwash is another tool that we use in oral health. It’s one of many. It can be used for many purposes. I’ll list some of the more common uses:
Mouthwash is most commonly used to reduce the microbial load inside the mouth. This, in turn, will reduce dental plaque buildup, as well as reduce odor-causing bacteria amounts.
Most mouthwashes that are sold contain fluoride. Fluoride is used to help remineralize tooth enamel caused by the acid produced by certain types of bacteria in the mouth. Fluoride, in essence, can help strengthen tooth enamel.
Dry Mouth Treatment
There are some mouthwashes that are made specifically for those that suffer from dry mouth. Dry mouth can be caused by several different factors, however, the symptoms that one gets from dry mouth are both damaging to teeth and gums, but also sometimes embarrassing.
Having a dry mouth actually helps the colonization of bacteria. When bacteria are allowed to colonize on teeth and gums, this will bring about tooth decay and periodontal disease (gum disease).
Some mouthwashes are prescribed by doctors and dentists as a sort of artificial saliva. These types of mouthwash help keep the mouth moist so that cleansing action can take place.
Different types of mouthwash
There are many different types of mouth wash. From alcohol-based to all-natural.
One thing that I keep reading about in my reading of mouthwash is that alcohol-based mouthwashes can actually dry your mouth out. As I stated above in this article, having a dry mouth is not a good thing. It leads to faster colonization of bacteria, and therefore, a faster-growing amount of different types of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria cause tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. So, as you can see, alcohol-based mouthwash may not be your best bet.
Choose a mouthwash that you feel comfortable with. Some are good for dry mouth, some are natural, some contain alcohol (less recommended), and then again some are alcohol-free.