|Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
Mouthwash or mouth rinse is another important part of maintaining good oral hygiene. Antiseptic and anti-plaque mouth rinse claim to kill germs in the mouth that cause plaque, gingivitis and bad breath. Anti-cavity mouth rinse uses fluoride to protect against tooth decay.
Mouth rinses are generally classified as either cosmetic, therapeutic or a combination of both. Cosmetic rinses are the commercial, over-the-counter products sold at stores. They help to remove oral debris before and after brushing, temporarily suppressing bad breath, diminish bacteria in the mouth and can refresh the mouth with a nice taste. Therapeutic rinses have the same benefits that the cosmetic rinses have, but they have the added benefit of an active ingredient that protects against some oral diseases. Therapeutic rinses are categorized based on their usage. There can be anti-plaque/anti-gingivitis rinses or anti-cavity fluoride rinses and others. Dentists generally prescribe these special rinses for patients with severe oral problems like cavities, periodontal disease, gum inflammation and xerostomia. Therapeutic rinses are strongly recommended for people who cannot brush their teeth due to physical impairments.
Should I use a Mouth Rinse
Using a mouth rinse depends if there is a need for it. Most dentists feel that using fluoride toothpaste alone is more than adequate in the protection against cavities. Although anti-cavity rinses with fluoride have been clinically proven to fight up to 50 percent more of the bacteria that cause cavities, and most rinses are effective at curbing bad breath and freshening the mouth for up to three hours, initial studies have shown that most over-the-counter anti-plaque rinses and antiseptics are not much more effective against plaque and gum disease than rinsing with water. Most dentists are skeptical about the value of these anti-plaque products, and studies point to only a 20 to 25 percent effectiveness, at best, in reducing the plaque that causes gingivitis. Mouth rinses can cause harm by masking the symptoms of an oral health disease or condition. If you are thinking of using a mouth rinse and aren’t sure about which to use, talk things over with your dentist. They can help you decide what is best for you.
How to use a Mouth Rinse
It is suggested that you brush and floss your teeth before you use a mouth rinse. Make sure to measure out the right amount of liquid that is suggested on the bottle. With your mouth closed, keep your teeth slightly apart and swish the liquid around with as much force as possible. Many rinses suggest rinsing for at least 30 seconds or more. At the end, thoroughly spit the liquid out of the mouth. You don’t want to swallow any of the rinse. Teeth should be as clean as possible before applying an anti-cavity rinse to reap the full preventive benefits. Consumers should not rinse, eat, or smoke for 30 minutes after using rinses, as these practices will dilute the fluoride and rinse it away.
Yes there can be side effects and they can vary depending on the type of rinse. Continual use of antiseptic mouthwashes that contain high levels of alcohol (18 to 26 percent) may produce a burning sensation in the cheeks, teeth, and gums. Many rinses with more concentrated formulas can lead to mouth ulcers, sodium retention, root sensitivity, stains, soreness, numbness, changes in taste sensation, and painful mucosal erosions. Most anti-cavity rinses contain sodium fluoride, which can lead to fluoride toxicity if taken excessively or swallowed. Because children tend to accidentally swallow mouthwash, they should only use rinses under adult supervision. If you experience any irritating or adverse reactions to a mouth rinse, discontinue its use immediately and talk to your dentist.
For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr. Wishneff at[email protected] or call (561) 488-3111. Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.