Mouthwash is considered by many an integral part of their dental care; for others, not so much. While there is little debate that the benefits of brushing and flossing trump those of using a mouthwash, it goes without saying that oral mouthwash also has its share of importance in dental care.
If you thought the best mouthwash in the market served only to deliver fresh breath, then you’re not the only one. It is commonly believed that the sole purpose of a mouth spray or mouthwash is to make your breath smell like fresh roses.
But that’s not why these products were manufactured in the first place. Here are 6 clinically proven benefits of mouthwash that will make you consider buying one for yourself if you haven’t already!
#1: Kills bacteria in the mouth
Therapeutic mouthwashes have bactericidal properties that effectively reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. This could be the same bacteria that are causing bad breath or participating in a cavity in your teeth. By eliminating these harmful microorganisms in your teeth, you’re essentially removing the source of bad breath, plaques, cavities and other pathologies.
Mouthwashes that contain fluoride provide an extra boost of protection against cavities and bacterial infections. Dentists will recommend a fluoride-based mouthwash for people with recurrent cavities in the mouth or gum infections.
Although getting rid of harmful bacteria is great for oral hygiene, excessive rinsing with a dental mouthwash can also eliminate the good bacteria in your mouth. There are certain strains of bacterial flora that maintain a healthy environment in your oral cavity. Killing them off with excessive mouthwash usage can reverse the benefit of a mouthwash altogether.
The rule of thumb with a mouthwash is, therefore, using it in an appropriate amount (not more than two or three times a day!).
#2: Can help whiten teeth
There’s been a lot of speculation on whether mouthwashes can help whiten teeth but recent clinical trials have revealed them to be beneficial, at least to a certain extent. Of course, you can’t expect the whitening effect to be as obvious and effective as a professional whitening treatment but with continuous use of the best mouthwash, you will indubitably see results.
In particular, medicated mouthwashes that contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide provide an enhanced whitening effect. These active ingredients work as anti-oxidants and work well against tooth staining.
Choosing the right mouthwash for whitening is important. That’s because most therapeutic mouthwashes will have more emphasis on anti-bacterial properties that can paradoxically lead to tooth staining. It’s a good idea to check the label and look for the right active ingredients if you want a mouthwash that can whiten your teeth.
#3: Fights off gum diseases
Gum diseases can be excruciatingly painful and spread to cause even more malignant outcomes. Good oral hygiene is the key to warding off periodontal or gum disease. Some of the best mouthwash for gums targets bacteria that can cause inflammation and infection in the healthy gums, and stop the disease from spreading.
Gum disease is particularly dangerous for a pregnant woman because the infection can spread into the bloodstream and cause early contractions. This can lead to premature births and small for weight babies. A good mouthwash used on a daily basis can help avoid this adverse outcome and keep the mother and the baby in good health.
Apart from problems in pregnancy, an infection in the gum can also spread via the dental route to the adjacent structure of the head and neck causing ear and throat diseases. Rinsing your mouth with an oral mouthwash can prevent this from happening.
#4: Helps heal canker sores
Canker sores are extremely common and are linked to multiple risk factors including poor dental hygiene, vitamin deficiencies, hormonal imbalances and even stress. Whatever the reason for its formation is, this sore is extremely painful especially if it is present on the palate.
Although canker sores will take their sweet time to heal, a medicated mouthwash can help speed up the process. Best mouthwashes for sores can not only help the sore to heal rapidly, but also mitigate the pain and irritation of it to some extent.
It’s important to choose a mouthwash with a low content of alcohol if you have a canker sore since alcohol can cause more irritation to the ulcerated area.
#5: Removes debris from the mouth
Food particles aren’t the only debris in the mouth that a mouthwash can get rid of. Believe it or not, there are always pieces of loose plaques left behind that simple brushing and flossing won’t remove. Rinsing your mouth with a therapeutic or natural mouthwash will get rid of all kinds of debris. This will also decrease your chances of plaque formation and leave you with an overall good oral hygiene.
#6: Strengthens the enamel
The enamel one of the hardest minerals in the body and it forms a protective outer coat of your teeth. In fact, the enamel is considered even stronger than the bone itself. However, despite its durability and strength, the enamel can break off and chip away if not properly taken care of. Acidic foods such as fizzy driinks and poor dental hygiene are just some of the risk factors.
A good mouthwash that has fluoride as an active ingredient will strengthen the enamel and therefore, protect your teeth.
It’s true that no dental routine is complete without a round of brushing and flossing but perhaps adding mouthwash into the mix will give you even better results. Some people believe that rinsing with a mouthwash is done only after brushing but that’s not true. There’s no set rule as to when you should be using your mouthwash as long as you don’t overdo it.
Experts recommend using a therapeutic mouthwash not more than 2 or 3 times a day. By adding mouthwash to your oral health care regimen, you can effectively ward off infections, gum diseases, cavities, and plaques. Most importantly, you’ll have fresh breath that smells ridiculously good!