Choosing the Right Mouthwash

With more information emerging about negative mouthwash ingredients, many patients may wonder if they even need to use mouthwash. However, adding mouthwash to your routine can help strengthen the tooth enamel. It’s important to know what to look for when selecting a mouthwash, as some can contain ingredients that actually harm your smile. As your local dentist office in Hunt Valley, MD, we want to help you make the right choice when it comes to your oral health. Learn what to look for and what to avoid when it comes to mouthwash.

Dentist Office in Hunt Valley, Maryland

Mouthwash Tips From Your Dentist Office in Hunt Valley, MD

Some mouthwash may not benefit your smile. When you’re looking for mouthwash, it’s important to:

Look for Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps strengthen and preserve the tooth enamel. Because fluoride remineralizes the enamel, it can help patients experiencing tooth wear and sensitivity. Fluoride can also help prevent problems like tooth decay and cavities because it remineralizes the enamel. If you want to fight cavities, look for a mouthwash with extra fluoride. Do not rinse your mouth with water after rinsing with mouthwash, as this washes away the fluoride.

Avoid Alcohol and Highly Acidic Mouthwashes

Alcohol is a common ingredient in most mouthwashes. However, alcohol can cause dry mouth and decrease saliva production. Dry mouth can contribute to problems like halitosis or bad breath. Saliva helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Decreased saliva production can actually increase your risk of gum or tooth infections. Alcohol can lead to Burning Mouth Syndrome in some patients, which is uncomfortable and painful. Highly acidic mouthwashes can also damage teeth over time. Avoid low-pH mouthwashes to preserve your smile.

Ditch “Cosmetic” Mouthwashes

Some mouthwashes may only benefit you if you want fresh breath. However, brushing and flossing regularly can help freshen your breath. Hydrating regularly can help prevent problems like dry mouth or halitosis. Remember to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth, as bacteria can collect there, contributing to bad breath. If you have chronic halitosis, visit our office so we can recommend the right treatment for your smile.

Avoid CPC if You Want a Bright Smile

Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) is a common mouthwash ingredient that helps remove bacteria. However, continually using mouthwashes that contain CPC can discolor your natural smile. CPC can create brown spots on the margins of the enamel. While this staining is not permanent, it’s an undesired effect of mouthwashes that contain CPC. If you experience bacterial buildup even if you brush and floss daily, contact us for a dental cleaning. We can recommend deep cleanings for patients with chronic gum problems that contribute to continual bacterial buildup.

Do you have questions about your oral health? Are you unsure if mouthwash is right for your oral hygiene routine? Contact Valley Dental Health for questions today at 410.803.5587. You can also schedule a dental visit online. We’re always here to help our patients find the right products and methods for treating their smiles.