Commercials on TV and a quick walk down the oral health care aisle at your local drug store will advertise the necessary benefits of mouthwash, yet your dentist has never told you that you "should" be using it. This often leaves people wondering whether mouthwash is a necessary component of their oral health routine. With all of the benefits that mouthwash brands promote, should you have it on your bathroom counter?
It is essential to state that rinsing the mouth with mouthwash cannot take the place of flossing and brushing your teeth on a daily basis. No benefit of mouthwash can replace the cleaning that daily flossing and brushing the teeth twice a day can offer. However, there are benefits that adding mouthwash to your oral health care routine can provide.
- Mouthwash can fight gum disease. Periodontal disease is a very devastating disease that can affect the entire mouth. Periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, and even oral cancer. Those who are prone to gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease, can add an extra layer of protection to their gums by using an antibacterial mouthwash containing alcohol or chlorhexidine to prevent gum disease.
- Mouthwash can prevent cavities. Fluoride is the main ingredient in most mouthwash brands. There are numerous studies that prove that fluoride reduces demineralization of the tooth enamel and decay of the teeth. Fluoride strengthens the enamel, making the teeth less vulnerable to developing cavities.
- Mouthwash can protect both a mother and her unborn baby. Periodontal disease is common among pregnant women due to the high fluctuations of hormones in a short amount of time. Bacteria that infect the gum tissues can easily pass into the bloodstream and increase inflammatory markers, which can stimulate contractions. Gum disease during pregnancy is a direct risk factor for miscarriage, preterm labor, and low birth weight. Women who use mouthwash throughout pregnancy are less likely to develop oral related pregnancy complications.
While mouthwash is not considered to be a necessary component of oral health, there are benefits of adding it to your normal routine. At Clearwater Dentistry, we can help you choose the best mouthwash for your oral health needs.