There are numerous options of mouth rinses available so how do you choose the right one? Options include anti-plaque, anti-gingivitis, fluoride-containing and breath-freshening which claim to help protect your teeth and gums. Here is some information to help you decide which is right for you.
Fluoride-Containing Mouth Rinses
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening the enamel of your teeth, which is the white outermost layer. If you currently use a fluoride containing tooth paste then a fluoride rinse is typically not necessary. One reason to use a fluoride rinse is if you have an abnormally dry mouth, which is called xerostomia. A severely dry mouth may alter the normal bacteria levels in your mouth leading to increased levels of bad bacteria which may lead to tooth decay. Check with your dentist to see if a fluoride rinse is an option for you.
Anti-Plaque and Anti-Gingivitis Mouth Rinses
These types of rinses are for adults to supplement their brushing and flossing routine. Even with brushing and flossing we may not be as thorough as we should, so anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis rinses can help improve your dental routine by killing bacteria that may be damaging to your teeth and cause gum disease.
When you go to purchase this type of rinse, look for the American Dental Association Seal of approval as this seal means that the product is safe and effective for its intended use. Your dentist may also prescribe stronger mouth rinses for those individuals with more serious health concerns.
Breath-Freshening Mouth Rinses
Many mouth rinses will only help decrease bad breath or halitosis. These products may kill bacteria for the short term and but will not have any lasting long-term effect on your dental health. While your breath is fresh for the short term, the bacteria will eventually grow back without any improvement to your oral health.
Mouth rinses do indeed serve a purpose depending on their intended use of improving your breath or fighting plaque and gingivitis. The important thing to remember is that it is not a substitute for daily oral hygiene practices, so keep brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist regularly. If you are unsure of what type of rinse is best for you, ask the dental professionals at Dater Dentistry. We will help you with the best plan to improve your overall oral health!