5 Types of Mouthwash and Their Uses

What type of mouthwash should you be using? After brushing and flossing, using mouthwash can give your mouth a nice, clean finish. But not all rinses are made the same. Depending on their ingredients, some are more effective than others for taking care of certain oral hygiene problems. There is a wide range of over-the-counter and prescription mouthwashes to choose from; your prosthodontist will help you to pick the right one for your dental needs.


1. Cosmetic Mouthwash

When you’re simply looking for something to make your breath smell fresher, cosmetic mouthwash is what you need. When used right after brushing, cosmetic mouthwash is great for rinsing away loose food particles, but it doesn’t have any actual germ-killing properties.


2. Fluoride Mouthwash

Sodium fluoride is a chemical that helps to fight tooth decay, toughening teeth in the process. Fluoride mouthwash has this chemical as part of its formula, with the aim of helping to keep teeth healthy. The problem with this product is that it’s possible to have too much fluoride. With community water being fluoridated and many toothpaste formulas including it as well, it’s very easy to ingest more than the recommended amount. Too much fluoride can lead to brittle bones and increased fractures, encourage certain thyroid problems and even cause pregnant women to give birth to children with lower IQ scores. A little bit goes a long way with fluoride.


3. Antiseptic Mouthwash

For people with halitosis or certain types of mouth infections, antiseptic mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine gluconate can help. This chemical prevents the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Antiseptic mouthwash can help to heal mouth sores and make your breath smell better, but it’s best used for only short lengths of time. Extended use can cause discolored teeth. If this happens, it can be reversed in your dentist’s office.


4. Natural Mouthwash

Many people have difficulties with alcohol or object to using chemicals in their daily lives. Natural mouthwash formulas are made without the use of alcohol or fluoride but can have the same benefits of those that do. Most commercial natural mouthwash formulas include essential oils, salt, herbs such as echinacea and calendula, mint and aloe vera. Another option for gentler mouthwash is to make your own at home. Mix distilled water and baking soda and use this to rinse your mouth after brushing. If you feel a need for more mineralizing properties, stir in a bit of sea salt.


5. Prescription Mouthwash

For patients with gum disease, mouthwash can be serious medicine, not just a quick way to freshen the breath. Prescription strength mouthwash contains chlorhexidine in a prescription dosage. It’s meant to fight gingivitis, help inflamed gums to heal and reduce swelling and bleeding.

Prescription strength mouthwash isn’t useful for fighting periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. During this advanced stage, patients experience receding gums, loose teeth, pus and infection and tooth sensitivity.

In the early stages of gum disease, though, prescription strength mouthwash can destroy harmful bacteria in the mouth. After using it for six months, patients have been tested and found that the level of bacteria in their mouth had been reduced by up to 97 percent. In addition, some mouthwash remains in the mouth after rinsing, so it continues to work for a time after the original use.


Your Prosthodontist Knows Teeth!

Mouthwash is just one very small part of an overall regiment that you’ll need to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.  And, hey, when you’re ready to tackle those big dental procedures, only the most skilled Houston prosthodontists will do. Maple Leaf Dental can turn back time, replacing your damaged teeth with artificial ones that even your mother won’t notice. Call us at 281-497-5558 or email us to get started. Your smile won’t wait forever!

Oh, by the way, we’re giving away copies of our “How to Take a Great Selfie” guide for a limited time. Just click here, enter your email and you’ll be creating beautiful selfies in no time. Sign up for our newsletter while you’re there and you’ll get regular tips on better oral care and in-depth information on dental procedures.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Is Veganism Best for your teeth?

Veganism has a number of proven health benefits, but can it work wonders for your oral health? That depends on how healthy your diet — vegan or otherwise — is!...

5 Foods that Naturally Whiten Your Teeth

Teeth whitening is a booming business and for good reason. It’s natural to want a gorgeous smile. Not every set of pearly whites is an ideal candidate for the treatment, however...

Oral Bacteria and Alzheimer’s: The Link

Imagine losing your short-term memory, unable to recall the names of those you hold dear. Or experiencing unexplained mood changes like agitation at night, or even the loss of basic bodily functions or the ability to properly care for yourself...

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth seem like the perfect setup for a bad joke: if they’re so wise, why do they cause so much pain and hassle? Wisdom teeth, or the third set of molars that typically develop between the ages of 17 and 21...

Talk to Your Dentist About Diabetes

Americans are developing diabetes at an alarming rate, with as many as 100 million people living with diabetes and prediabetes today. This means that it’s even more important today than it was yesterday to ensure your oral health is maintained...