Do you love the minty tingle from using your mouthwash? While patients enjoy the clean feeling of mouthwash, many wonder if it actually makes a difference for their oral health.
The foundation of a healthy smile is regular brushing, flossing, and cleanings with your dentist, but using mouthwash can also be a great additional tool to keep your oral health in great shape. In celebration of National Dental Hygiene Month, Dr. Frank Kuzmin explains more about the origins of mouthwash and how your smile can benefit from using mouthwash.
Mouthwash is not a new discovery for oral care. In fact, researchers have found evidence of mouthwash dating back to ancient civilizations. The Romans, who are known for their relatively advanced medical practices, were the first documented civilization to use mouthwash. During this time, mouthwash was used with a range of ingredients including fruits, charcoal, and dried flowers.
Modern mouthwash wasn’t actually developed until the 1800s and became popular in the late 1800s. During this time, alcohol was added to mouthwash to help kill bacteria and stabilize the formula. Today, many mouthwash brands use alternative ingredients to help kill bacteria.
The formula of mouthwashes used today will typically include four of the following ingredients, including water, alcohol, flavoring, coloring agents, and cleansing agents. This, of course, will vary depending on the brand of mouthwash and the type of mouthwash you choose.
It’s important to remember that using mouthwash does not actually substitute brushing and flossing. If you plan to add mouthwash to your oral hygiene regime, it’s still critical that you continue to brush and floss every day. Mouthwash is merely an additional tool patients can implement to aid their oral health.
Adding a mouthwash to your daily routine can benefit your oral health in a number of ways, including:
Reduce Cavities: Using a mouthwash with fluoride can help patients avoid the formation of cavities. Cavities develop after your teeth are frequently exposed to enamel-eroding acids. If patients are concerned about the erosion of their tooth enamel, choosing a mouthwash with fluoride can be particularly helpful.
Fluoride helps to prevent mineral loss in the enamel and even reduces bacteria’s ability to make harmful acids. Mouthwash with fluoride can help prevent tooth decay and reverse or stop the early stages of tooth decay.
Wash Away Food Particles: Lingering food particles can harm your smile in a number of ways. Bacteria can continue to feed upon food particles and produce a harmful acid. Trapped food particles can also begin to decompose and give off a foul odor, leaving you with bad breath.
Adding an extra step in your oral hygiene regime with mouthwash will help to wash away lingering food particles in the mouth. While mouthwash is a great additional step to wash away these particles, flossing more effectively removes particles that are lodged in hard-to-reach areas.
Freshen Breath: Depending on the mouthwash you choose, you can enjoy a variety of flavors to help freshen your breath. Most mouthwash brands have spearmint or peppermint flavors available.
Remember, mouthwash isn’t a practical solution for patients dealing with chronic bad breath. Using a mouthwash will simply mask the foul odor. To handle halitosis, also known as chronic bad breath, patients should pay special attention to their brushing and flossing habits in order to more effectively remove food particles and bacteria causing bad breath.
Fight Gum Disease: When plaque accumulates, the gum tissue can become inflamed and infected. Patients affected by gum disease will notice their gums appear red, swollen, and tender. Adding an antibacterial mouthwash to your routine can help prevent the accumulation of plaque and the development of gum disease.
If you stroll down the aisle at your local store, you’ll notice a wide range of mouthwash brands all aimed to address different concerns. Some of the most popular types of mouthwash include:
We strongly encourage our patients to take a close look at their oral care regime. Is there a way to improve your routine? Adding a mouthwash can be a great additional step to improve your dental health.
If you need more than just a quick boost for your oral health, seek the help of a dental professional. Here at Torrington Dental Care, we offer a range of services to give you a healthy, beautiful smile. To find out more about how we can care for your smile, contact our office today and schedule your consultation with Dr. Kuzmin.