Keeping your oral hygiene at a certain level includes brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, as well as using mouthwash. Considering that bacteria tend to stick to your teeth and mouth, using mouthwash is a great way to prevent that and maintain a nice breath. Of course, there are different types of mouthwash, like fluoride mouthwash, natural or alcohol-free ones, so you should choose the one that suits you best.
Although it is designed to promote oral health and establish good dental hygiene routine, just like with any other product, there are good and bad sides of using it. Let’s look at a few mouthwash benefits and disadvantages.
Using product for improving your oral hygiene is something you should do regularly, especially if you are prone to dental issues. Using mouthwash can be beneficial in various ways, some of which include:
- Reducing bad breath instantly – by preventing bacteria from accumulating, it helps your breath become fresh instantly. This is a great solution if you don’t have the time to brush and floss, but still want to clean your teeth.
- Helping in post-surgery recovery – certain mouthwashes prescribed by dentists are great at fighting inflammation and soreness after dental surgery. This is mostly given to patients who are not allowed to brush or floss their teeth after a procedure but still have to maintain oral health and cleanliness.
- Preventing complications during pregnancy – some pregnant women are known to have oral and dental problems either during pregnancy or after giving birth. If a pregnant woman knows how to use mouthwash safely and cautiously, she can decrease the risks of developing periodontal disease and ultimately prevent premature labor. Using mouthwash while pregnant can help fight the bacteria that accumulate in the mouth and prevent them from entering the woman’s bloodstream.
- Killing germs and bacteria – the most well-known effect of using mouthwash is killing germs and bacteria to prevent cavities. While brushing and flossing help move them, they can’t kill them, so that’s where the mouthwash comes to the rescue!
Although the benefits of mouthwash are great, there are a few disadvantages of using a mouthwash that you should be aware of. To be sure you are safely using mouthwash, you should consult a professional dentist, like Dr. Angela Berkovich, and get adequate information and advice. Some of the most often disadvantages of using mouthwash are listed below:
- Overusing – using mouthwash too much or inappropriately may lead to serious issues. For example, mouthwashes with a high level of alcohol can burn delicate mucous membranes in your mouth, while chlorhexidine gluconate, an ingredient present in some mouthwashes, stains and darkens teeth when in contact with leftover food in your mouth. Moderation is key!
- Dangerous for children – children who use mouthwash regularly are prone to ingesting it sometimes, which can be very dangerous for them. Ingesting mouthwash can result in convulsions and in more serious cases, in a comatose state. Mouthwash shouldn’t be used by children under the age of 6, and those older can use it, but only under adult supervision.
- Masks bad breath – it’s important to understand that mouthwash is not a substitute for good old brushing and flossing. You cannot rely only on mouthwash to maintain your oral health, it’s simply not enough. It can help with bad breath, that’s true, but not for a long time, so think about it next time you’re using it.
On the overall, using mouthwash is beneficial for your teeth and oral health only if used cautiously. However, everyone is unique when it comes to oral hygiene and what works for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for another. Explore your options and consult your dentist to optimize the health of your teeth and mouth.