Mouthwash Does More than Rinse Away Food Particles

Find a dentist approved mouthwash and enjoy fresh breath and a healthier mouth, say the dental experts.

Many people mistakenly believe that mouthwash is used solely for the purpose of freshening breath. While that’s certainly a benefit, a high-quality antiseptic mouth rinse offers more than just the scent of mint.

According to dentists, mouthwash may be used to help control, delay, or prevent tooth decay, eliminate or reduce plaque and gingivitis, and thwart tartar formation on teeth. You can find a dentist-approved mouthwash over-the-counter without a prescription. There are, however, two distinct types of mouthwash: therapeutic and cosmetic.

Therapeutic mouthwash

Therapeutic mouthwashes are those that offer health benefits. They contain fluoride which helps promote a healthy mouth and reduce tooth decay. Therapeutic rinses additionally work to control plaque, dental caries (cavities), and gingivitis. These mouthwashes often contain antimicrobial agents that get between teeth to kill the root cause of bad breath–bacteria.

Cosmetic mouthwash

Cosmetic mouthwashes focus specifically masking unpleasant breath. You can find a dentist-approved cosmetic mouthwash in a number of flavors including mint and citrus. Cosmetic rinses do not address the primary cause of, nor do they kill, bacteria.

While it’s important to brush and floss daily, many people have difficulty with these tasks due to fine motor skill issues or extreme tooth sensitivity. Mouthwashes add a level of protection against cavities and gum disease for these individuals.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends looking for their seal of acceptance when deciding which mouthwash to use. The ADA seal is an acknowledgment that that product has been tested for safety and effectiveness. When combined with regular dental checkups, a well-balanced diet free of excessive sugars, and regular brushing and flossing, mouthwashes help keep your mouth healthy and your breath fresh.