Is Mouthwash a Necessary Addition to your Oral Care Routine?

Maintaining a good dental care routine is essential. Besides brushing, flossing, and following a teeth-friendly diet, some people also use mouthwash. Mouthwash helps swish out the plaque and bacteria from between the teeth, making them cleaner. 

But the question remains… Is a mouthwash necessary? Moreover, will it help get whiter teeth and make them stronger as advertised by the companies? We’ll answer these questions and help you decide whether you should use mouthwash and which type of mouthwash is required. 

Why Should You Use Mouthwash?

Mouthwash is also called oral rinse, and it’s used in a liquid form to rinse teeth, gums, and entire mouth areas. You need to pour a bottle cap of mouthwash into the mouth, swish it around, and rinse. 

Most mouthwashes work as an antiseptic to kill bacteria and germs. Hence, your teeth will be cleaner & free from decay-causing bacteria. Other reasons to use a mouthwash include;

  • Treat Bad Breath: People often use a mouthwash after consuming food or drinks, especially the ones which are notorious for causing bad breath. It gives instant freshness to the teeth, which is not provided by toothpaste. When it comes to taste, you can choose from different flavours of mouthwash. 
  • Remove Food Particles: As you use a mouthwash to rinse your mouth and swish it around, it’ll help you get rid of the particles stuck between your teeth. This reduces the risk of developing cavities, plaque, and other infections. 
  • Helps with Plaque: Whilst brushing and flossing are the best options to remove plaque between your teeth, a mouthwash can certainly help improve the outcome. 
  • Stronger and Cavity-Free Teeth: Almost every type of mouthwash contains fluoride, a substance known to prevent cavities and make the teeth enamel stronger. Fluoride is known for other benefits as well, but its ability to make your teeth stronger is one of the strongest selling points.
  • Reduce Sensitivity: Having sensitive teeth and gums is a sign of unhealthiness. Mouthwash can help desensitise the mouth, but only the ones which contain arginine. Mouthwash with arginine seals the dentinal tubules present in the areas with sensitivity. 

         But you should always contact a dentist before buying a mouthwash for this specific reason.

  • Detoxification: Toxins in the mouth can lead to ulcers and canker sores. A mouthwash can detoxify your mouth and reduce the amount of bacteria. 

Are There any Disadvantages of using Mouthwash?

  • Increases Teeth Sensitivity: Mouthwash without arginine can increase teeth sensitivity because of the presence of alcohol. Alcohol is known for dissolving the mucus layer leaving the teeth weaker and making them more sensitive. 
  • May Cause Cancer: Cancer is linked with all kinds of myths and misinformation. But mouthwash causing cancer is not a myth, and a few studies have found the link between mouthwash and cancer. 

          Excessive use of mouthwash combined with other carcinogenic factors can increase the risk factors of the person suffering from this condition. Also, long-term and frequent usage of mouthwash runs with a potential risk of developing head and neck cancer. 

  • Reduces the Effect of Toothpaste: Using a mouthwash immediately after brushing the teeth will flush out the fluoride layer provided by the paste. In other words, the chemicals in the mouthwash will cancel the benefits provided by toothpaste. 

How and When to use a Mouthwash?

The effectiveness of a mouthwash depends on how and when you are using it. While some will have it as a part of their daily dental care routine while others use it occasionally to get rid of bad breath. 

Since there is no consensus on how to use mouthwash, let’s try to make one based on research, experience, and popular practices. 

  • Always use your mouthwash in combination with brushing and flossing. These three components can become the ultimate tool for good teeth. However, make sure not to use mouthwash right after brushing. You can use it after eating your meals. 
  • One of the best ways to use mouthwash is after flossing. As flossing scrapes out the food particles and plaque from between the teeth, rinsing your mouth with mouthwash will help you remove the loosened particles. It will keep your teeth and mouth clean, fresh, and free from toxins. 

Answering how to use a mouthwash part, pour some in the bottle’s cap (there’s usually an indicator in the cap) and put it in your mouth. Don’t drink and swish it around the mouth along with gargling the same at the back of your tongue and spit it out. 

Studies Showing the Effectiveness of Mouthwash

As the ingredients used in the mouthwash vary, it can also provide different benefits and helps with a slew of conditions. 

  • Gingivitis: The standard mouthwash formula helps prevent plaque and gingivitis. Also, there’s a lack of evidence on the exact amount of ingredients used to prevent these conditions. 
  • Gum Disease: A study conducted in Scotland shows a large population of people are using mouthwash to treat the symptoms of conditions associated with gum diseases, mouth ulcers, and swelling in gums. 
  • Prevent Cavities: A research was done on children aged 6-14 using fluoride based mouthwash. The result showed that the children who used it had a reduction in tooth decay than the ones who didn’t.

We can say that using mouthwash has its benefits. But using it in excessive amounts over a long period of time can be detrimental to oral and overall body health. 

Get the right one according to your teeth condition and health. However, do not pin all hopes of treating and curing dental diseases with a mouthwash alone. Consult your dentist as soon as you develop dental implants problems and start the right treatment.