When you consider the number of products available today for dental hygiene, the choices for mouthwash products can be overwhelming. Most people base their choices on products they have used in the past and some evidence suggests that cost is an important factor in people’s selection of mouthwash products. There are many choices of brands for consumers, but there are also different types of products available that are actually designed to treat your mouth differently.
There are three primary groups of mouth rinses to select from. The most common is a mouth rinse that contains Fluoride, followed by a category of anti-gingivitis/anti-plaque products, and finally, there are products for cosmetic purposes. While many of these products are available over the counter, some are prescription only. You should be aware of the differences in these products when shopping for an effective mouthwash or mouth rinse.
Mouth Rinses with Fluoride
Enamel is the natural substance that covers your teeth protecting them from the rigors of daily chewing. It is harder than bone and Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel on our teeth. Fluoride also helps to prevent tooth decay.
Fluoride is present in the drinking water in many Houston’s developed areas, and almost all toothpaste now contains fluoride. Because of this, fluoridated mouthwash products are likely unnecessary for most people in Houston with a few exceptions. In some cases, certain oral conditions require extra doses of fluoride such as xerostomia, which is an abnormal dryness of the mouth. This can increase bacteria levels in the mouth, which can lead to tooth decay and a fluoridated mouthwash can help correct this problem.
Cosmetic Mouth Rinse
Some mouthwash products are produced solely to provide your mouth with a nice fresh scent. While they may make your mouth smell minty fresh, they do not provide any dental health benefits. Some may argue that these products can kill bacteria, they are not primarily designed for this purpose. Instead, their focus is to offer short-term fresh breath to reduce the effects of halitosis or bad mouth odors. While this helps from a cosmetic perspective, there are no other dental hygiene benefits from mouth rinses without bacteria killing agents or fluoride.
Anti-Gingivitis/Anti-Plaque Mouth Rinse
Bacteria are the main cause of bad breath and the main cause of tooth decay so an effective mouthwash product should ideally get rid of as much bacteria as possible during use. Brushing and flossing are great ways to reduce the chances that bacteria will settle into your teeth, and a follow up with an anti-gingivitis/anti-plaque mouthwash will provide an even greater level of protection against tooth decay because this type of mouthwash is specifically designed to kill dangerous bacteria. For people with serious plaque and gingivitis problems, a prescription strength mouthwash can be also used to kill bacteria and to treat any inflammation from infections.
Pearland Family Dentistry offers the best in dental care and advice to our Houston, TX patients. If you have questions about tooth decay, bacteria, and the mouthwash and mouth rinse products that can help you the most, contact us today for a consultation.