Ever wandered through the mouth rise aisle at the store, gazing at the wide variety of mouth rises available – all of which to protect your teeth and gums and freshen your breath? How do you choose? How can you know which promises hold true, and is a mouth rinse really necessary?
There are three major types of mouth rinses: products that contain fluoride, anti-gingivitis and anti-plaque mouth rinses, and cosmetic mouth rinse products. Some of these mouth rinses are available over-the-counter; others will require a prescription.
Fluoride-Containing Mouth Rinses
Fluoride helps strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay. Most people, however, will not require use of fluoride mouth rinses. You are typically getting all the fluoride you need right from your tooth paste. There are exceptions, and if your dentist feels as though you are in need of additional fluoride in your routine, he may suggest you getting a fluoride mouthrinse.
Mouth Rinse to Freshen Your Breath
Most mouth rinses that are widely advertised may freshen your breath, but do not usually offer any long-term dental health benefits. Some may kill bacteria for a short time, but these bacteria grow back eventually, and while you’ll have minty fresh breath in the short-term, these mouth rinses don’t actually improve your overall oral health.
Anti-Plaque or Anti-Gingivitis Mouth Rinses
The most recommended mouth rinses are those that are considered “anti-plaque” or “anti-gingivitis.” These mouth rinses can give a boost to your dental care habits by killing potentially damaging bacteria. Since brushing and flossing is not always done correctly, this will help keep harmful bacteria in your mouth at bay.
If it has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval that means that the claims made on the bottle have been verified and work by killing a different spectrum of bacteria than the breath-freshening rinse. Oral bacteria can cause gum disease, so using a rinse that eliminates some of these organisms will help your overall oral health.
Mouth rinses all serve a purpose – whether it’s to freshen your breath or improve your oral health. It’s a good idea to include a mouth rinse in your daily hygiene routine. When selecting which one works best for you, always try to pick one that has the ADA seal of approval.