If you’ve ever walked the aisles of any San Antonio, Texas drugstore, you know that there are many different types of mouthwash. Some tout their germ-killing abilities, others emphasize their fluoride content, and some claim to whiten teeth while freshening the breath. These are all great benefits, but will they make or break your dental health?
Many folks in the San Antonio area wonder if daily mouthwash should be part of their dental routine. Brushing and flossing are the two essential habits that have the greatest affect on dental health, so if you’re doing these two things, is mouthwash needed?
I’m Dr. William Stewart of William J. Stewart Jr. DDS Advanced Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in San Antonio. When my dental patients ask about mouthwash, I tell them that as long as they follow the directions on the bottle, mouthwash may slightly benefit dental health, even if it doesn’t live up to every promise as advertised. Rinsing with a mouthwash that contains fluoride can’t hurt your teeth, but allowing a bit of diluted toothpaste to stay on tooth surfaces after brushing probably has the same benefit.
People who suffer from bad breath often believe that mouthwash can solve the trouble. Actually, mouthwashes that contain alcohol can worsen the issue because they can cause dry mouth – a condition that can contribute to bad breath. Mouthwashes without alcohol are generally more effective for freshening breath. These products are usually called flouride rinses.
If you have chronic bad breath, however, you should have your teeth checked for plaque build-up. No amount of mouthwash can remedy a mouth full of plaque. If your teeth and gums are healthy and you still suffer from bad breath, it’s important to confirm the cause. Bad breath can be an indication of a physical condition, so see your doctor soon.
Bottom line? Never substitute mouthwash for proper brushing and flossing. And if you use mouthwash, pick a brand that contains fluoride and no alcohol.
Thank you for visiting the San Antonio dental blog. We like to tackle important issues such as dental products, cosmetic dentistry procedures, over-the-counter teeth whitening, sedation dentistry, invisible braces, pediatric dentistry, oral care habits, and more!
My practice, William J. Stewart Jr. DDS Advanced Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, provides premium dental care to our valued patients. If you are interested in making an appointment, please call us at 210-493-3040. A member of my patient-centered and detail oriented staff can answer any questions you have about our services.