- Health & Wellness
How To Choose The Right Mouthwash
Don’t be random with your choice when it comes to a mouthwash. Know what you need it for
When one thinks of a mouthwash, the first thing that comes to the mind is that it should stop bad breath. But then, all mouthwashes are not necessarily made only to do that. They can also check bleeding gums and help whiten your teeth.
So, it is important to know why you are using a mouthwash and then choose one accordingly. Also, it is best to consult your dentist before you start using a mouthwash.
While there is no alternative to brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly for oral hygiene and dental care, a mouthwash can work as a breath freshener for a while. If your main concern is to control bad breath before an important meeting, you can perhaps go for one of those over-the-counter cosmetic mouthwashes.
Although alcohol-based mouthwashes are a popular variety, they need not be that effective. “Do your best to avoid alcoholic mouthwashes. They aren’t particularly effective against gum disease or bad breath and may increase the risk of oral cancer,” writes Dr Steven Lin, a dentist based in Australia and author of The Dental Diet, in Verywell Health.
For tooth decay
Flouride-based mouthwashes can help check tooth decay, but again consult your dentist before using one. It is usually recommended to those who are at a high risk of tooth decay, like elderly patients. “Fluoride rinses probably only have a significant effect if you are at an increased risk of dental caries and certainly should not be used as a substitute for brushing with a fluoride toothpaste—you need to do both,” says Dr Lin.
For gum problems
Chlorhexidine mouthwashes are prescribed for gum diseases like Gingivitis. These mouthwashes are antibacterial, but they may not fight bad breath. Chlorhexidine, however, can alter the taste and also cause staining. “Chlorhexidine may change the way foods taste to you. Sometimes this effect may last up to 4 hours after you use the oral rinse. In most cases, this effect will become less noticeable as you continue to use the medicine,” says Mayo Clinic, an academic medical centre in the US.
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