Mouth Rinses – Good or Bad?

MouthwashFew conditions in the world of oral health are clear cut and governed by a set of hard-and-fast rules. Take mouth rinses, for instance. Depending on your oral health needs, the state of your mouth, and the products you choose, a mouth rinse might greatly help or significantly hinder your oral health regimen. Here’s a quick overview of what’s good and what’s bad about mouth rinses.

Mouth rinses: The good news 

  1. Mouth rinses help remove debris from the surfaces of your teeth, which helps prevent biofilm/plaque build-up.
  2. Using a mouth rinse can help reduce your chance of getting cavities.
  3. Mouth rinse usage, as part of an overall oral health routine, can reduce the incidence of periodontal (gum) disease.
  4. If you swish with a mouth rinse such as those produced by CariFree, you can make the pH level of your mouth more alkaline. This combats the demineralization of teeth and other consequences of having high levels of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Mouth rinses: The bad news

  1. If you chronically use mouth rinses to cover up halitosis (bad breath), you may be missing the opportunity for your dentist to discover treatable underlying reasons for this condition.
  2. Mouth rinses that contain alcohol or peroxide can aggravate cases of dry mouth, which can influence the development of cavities and periodontal disease.
  3. Some clinical mouth rinses that contain chlorhexidine are very effective at reducing plaque and inflammation in the mouth, but also have been shown to cause teeth staining.

The American Dental Association recommends that you consult with your dentist when selecting a mouth rinse and use quality products that have received the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The order in which you brush, floss or rinse makes little difference in the effectiveness of the rinse.

“Mouth rinses can have significant oral health benefits, but it is important to match the product to a patient’s specific conditions,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist based in central Phoen

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