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What Are the Pros and Cons to Mouthwash?

Brushing your teeth and flossing are the cornerstones of a healthy oral hygiene routine, and some people complement this routine with mouthwash. Who doesn’t love that minty freshness that comes from a daily swig of mouthwash? Not only does this product freshen your breath, but it also promotes better oral health. 

Explore different mouthwash options to enhance your dental health.

Choosing the Perfect Mouthwash

When you’re shopping for mouthwash, consider your oral care needs and look for one that addresses them. For instance, if you’re concerned with surface stains on your enamel, choose a mouthwash with whitening properties. If you have weak gums, then you may want to opt for one that kills the bacteria that result in gingivitis. 

Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of mouthwash.

The Pros of Using Mouthwash

Some of the benefits of mouthwash include:

  • Reduction in cavities: If your mouthwash contains fluoride, it can help combat cavities because it reduces the demineralization and cavitation of your teeth. Fluoride rinse mouthwash contains approximately 0.05 percent sodium fluoride, which protects against tooth decay. 
  • Keeps gum disease at bay: An anti-plaque or antiseptic mouthwash can help stunt the growth of bacteria that leads to periodontal diseases, such as gingivitis. Some of the active ingredients in these types of mouthwashes include thymol, triclosan, and chlorhexidine. 
  • Protects your pregnancy: Believe it or not, a study conducted by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that pregnant women who use antibacterial mouthwash are less likely to go into preterm labor. On the other hand, the bacteria found in periodontal diseases can get into a pregnant woman’s bloodstream and increase inflammatory markers; this can result in severe contractions. 
  • Whiter teeth: If you’re self-conscious about your smile, you should consider a mouthwash with teeth whitening properties. This type of wash contains bleaching agents, such as hydrogen peroxide, that can lead to a whiter and brighter smile. 
  • Soothes mouth ulcers: If you’re susceptible to canker sores, mouthwash can detox the area, reducing the bacteria that can irritate the site. You can also rinse with salt water to soothe mouth sores. 

The Cons of Using Mouthwash

There are a few disadvantages to using mouthwash, such as:

  • Mouthwash may be linked to oral cancer: There’s a raging debate whether mouthwash that contains alcohol can lead to oral cancer that dates back to the 1970s. It’s best to talk to your dentist or oral surgeon before using rinses that contain high alcohol levels. 
  • It can increase your teeth’s sensitivity: High alcohol levels can dissolve your mucus layer, leaving your teeth vulnerable. 
  • Temporarily masks bad breath: If you don’t brush or floss your teeth, mouthwash will only mask foul breath. It’s the equivalent of using body spray instead of showering. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Is Here for You

To mouthwash or not to mouthwash? We recommend you use this product as long as it contains moderate alcohol levels. If you have other oral health questions, you can reach out to the board-certified surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah. We specialize in tooth extraction, implant insertion, bone grafting, corrective jaw surgery, and more. 

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we’re taking extra precautions to keep our patients safe, but rest assured we’re still in business. Contact us with any questions you may have. 

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