Should You Use Mouthwash?

Man with MouthwashThe Answer is… Maybe!

Mouthwash, or mouth rinses, are primarily used to remove food debris after brushing and flossing. They provide a pleasant taste, freshen the breath, and (depending on the active ingredient) can also protect against plaque & bacteria, periodontal disease, and/or cavities.

So should everyone use mouthwash? Not exactly. Some people who use it will see only marginal benefits over brushing and flossing alone. Furthermore, repeated use of alcohol-based mouthwash can irritate soft tissue, damage the mucous membrane, and contribute to dry mouth (xerostomia).

Every mouth is different, so get a recommendation based on your individual needs by discussing mouthwash options with your dentist. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

Benefits of Mouthwash

  • Helps remove food debris
  • Provides temporary relief of bad breath (halitosis)
  • May prevent buildup up of plaque and inhibit growth of bacteria
  • May prevent periodontal (gum) disease
  • Fluoridated options may prevent cavities

Side Effects

  • Provides only temporary relief from bad breath (3-4 hours)
  • Can mask the presence of periodontal disease
  • Alcohol-based rinses may irritate tissues & cause dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • Alcohol-based rinses may also cause intoxication and/or injury if swallowed

About Dr. Sean Moran

Dr. Moran is a San Francisco native. He received his undergraduate degree at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He also received his DDS degree from Creighton University School of Dentistry in 1988 at which time he began practicing general dentistry in San Francisco.

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