Should You Be Using Mouthwash?


Q: Should I Be Using Mouthwash?

A: Mouthwash, also called mouthrinse, can be a great addition to your oral care routine. Traditionally, mouthwashes have been used to help reduce bad breath. However, only some types of mouthwash can help reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease. Whichever type you choose, mouthwash should not replace daily brushing and flossing. If you are unsure, schedule an appointment with your dentist to find out their recommendation.


Q: What type of mouthwash should I buy?

A: There are two types of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic. Therapeutic mouthwash is available over the counter and by prescription. This type has active ingredients that can help control plaque, gum disease and tooth decay. Cosmetic mouthwash can help mask bad breath (halitosis) temporarily, but will not reduce risk of gum disease or tooth decay. Typically, flavoring agents will only last for a few hours.


Q: Can children use mouthwash?

A: Children under the age of six, should not use mouthwash. Swallowing mouth wash should be avoided as it can cause vomiting and intoxication.


Q: What are the benefits to using therapeutic vs cosmetic mouthwash?

A: Using the right type of therapeutic mouthwash can reduce plaque and gingivitis, prevent tooth decay and freshen breath as cosmetic mouthwash will only have temporary results to reduce bad breath.


Schedule an appointment with your dentist to see if you need a mouthwash and what type to use. Still need to look for a dentist in your area? Search for one here.