Which mouthwash should I use?

20th May 2015 by

Combined with other forms of dental hygiene, mouthwashes are commonly used as part of a daily oral care regimen. Not only do they freshen breath, they can help prevent plaque, cavities, gingivitis, and other gum diseases. However, mouthwash is used for prevention, not a cure, and it is important to remember that the use of a mouthwash is never a substitute for regular brushing and flossing. To get the full benefits of your toothpaste and mouthwash, it is best to wait at least 30 minutes after brushing before using your mouthwash.

There are many different types of mouthwashes available on the market today and it can be difficult to choose which one is best for you. The choice can be discussed with your Bow Lane dentist or hygienist depending on your individual oral health needs. Our Central London-based hygienists have produced this guide:

Cosmetic mouthwashes e.g. the mouth rinse at the dentist.

These are ideal for eliminating odours that linger after eating and drinking certain foods, but they do not offer any health benefits.

Natural mouthwashes e.g. warm saltwater

A home-made mouthwash containing warm water and 2 teaspoons of salt can be useful following a tooth extraction or to treat a minor infection or injury.

Fluoride mouthwashes e.g Fluorigard

If you are prone to cavities, sodium fluoride provides a layer of protection over the teeth, making them more resistant to decay. It also helps to strengthen enamel, maintain good dental hygiene, and keep your teeth strong.

Alcohol mouthwashes e.g. Listerine

Alcohol in mouthwash works as an antiseptic by killing germs and some viral infections. People with dry mouth should avoid alcohol-based mouthwash because it can make the problem worse.

Antibacterial mouthwashes e.g. Corsodyl

These contain chlorhexidine gluconate which fights gum disease and other infections by stopping the growth of bacteria that can lead to gingivitis and tooth decay. Most mouthwash products contain at least trace amounts of these antibacterials. The use of chlorhexidine over a long period of time can cause brown staining on the teeth but these can easily be removed by your dental hygienist.

Magic mouthwashes

In some cases, prescription mouthwashes are necessary to treat patients with mouth ulcers, have undergone periodontal surgery or to treat inflammation caused by cancer treatment. These speciality mouthwashes should not be used outside of their intended use as some of them contain antibiotics or local anaesthesia. The majority of mouthwashes require no prescription.

At your next visit with your city dentist or city hygienist ask them which they would recommend for YOUR mouth. Thanks to our dental hygienist Renate Putrus for writing this blog.

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