Mouthrinses

Mouthwash.Numerous studies have shown that using an appropriate mouth rinse, in conjunction with regular brushing and flossing, is an easy and effective way for you to improve your overall oral health. As part of a regular program of oral hygiene, mouth rinses (which are sometimes called mouthwashes) can be effective at reducing plaque, controlling bad breath, and helping to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. There is a myriad of mouth rinses lining the drugstore shelves, and they are available in both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) formulations. Which one is best for you? That depends on what benefit you expect to get from using it.

It's important to keep in mind that many off-the-shelf mouth rinses are primarily cosmetic: That means, they may (temporarily) make your mouth taste or smell good, but they don't offer any lasting benefit to your oral health. There's nothing wrong with that — as long as you weren't expecting anything more. But if you've been told that you are at risk for tooth decay or gum disease, you'll want to use a mouth rinse that has proven clinical benefits.

Therapeutic Mouth Rinses

Mouth rinses that offer oral-health benefits are considered therapeutic. These fall into two general categories: anti-cariogenic rinses, which are designed to prevent tooth decay (and thus dental caries, or “cavities”); and anti-bacterial rinses, which help control the buildup of plaque bacteria in your mouth. Some products may even offer both types of protection.

To help prevent tooth decay, anti-cariogenic mouth rinses use an ingredient you're probably already familiar with: fluoride. This is often in the form of a .05% sodium fluoride solution. Because it's a liquid, the rinse can get all around your teeth — even into spaces the smallest brush can't reach.

Fluoride has been consistently proven to strengthen tooth enamel, which protects against decay; it can even reduce tiny lesions on teeth where a cavity may form. There's hardly anyone who couldn't use some extra help in the fight against cavities — but if you've been told you may be at a higher risk for tooth decay, or if you have difficulty brushing and flossing, then an anti-cariogenic rinse is a good choice for you.

Anti-bacterial mouth rinses generally contain ingredients (like triclosan, essential oils, or the prescription medication chlorhexidine) that help to control the microorganisms found in plaque. Plaque, a sticky, bacteria-laden biofilm, occurs not only on the surfaces of the teeth but also in other parts of the mouth. Rinsing with an anti-bacterial solution has been shown to provide a greater reduction in plaque than brushing and flossing alone. As tools in the fight against gum disease (gingivitis) and tooth decay, anti-bacterial mouth rinses may be a good step toward improving your oral hygiene.

Choosing A Mouth rinse

If you're shopping for an over-the-counter therapeutic mouth rinse, look for the ADA (American Dental Association) seal on the label; it means that the product has been evaluated and proven effective by an independent panel of dental experts. If a mouth rinse has been prescribed for you, you should carefully follow the usage instructions. (Note, however, that due to labeling rules, prescription mouth rinses may not be eligible for the ADA seal.) Mouth rinses can benefit most people, but they generally aren't recommended for children under the age of six, who may swallow them.

Related Articles

Mouthrinses - Dear Doctor Magazine

Mouth rinses Walk into any drugstore and you'll see a staggering number of mouth rinses on the shelves. Which one is right for you? It all depends on what you hope to accomplish by using it... Read Article

Our Location

We're conveniently located in Stanwood, WA. Come see us today to experience enhanced dental healthcare.

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Stanwood Dental Care

Monday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

7:00 am-3:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

By Appointment

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

  • Educational Videos

    Take a few minutes to watch our educational videos and learn more about different dental treatments and procedures. Video topics include general & cosmetic dentistry, Implants, oral health and hygiene, orthodontics and preventative dentistry. ...

    Read More
  • Smile Makeover

    Smiling with confidence makes you feel great. A beautiful smile is also an important social and professional asset. Yet there are many people who avoid showing their teeth in public or in photographs because they don't like what they see. If that describes you, then why not start the process of getting ...

    Read More
  • Periodontal (Gum) Disease

    While you may think that some loss of teeth is inevitable with aging, it is actually possible for all of your teeth to last a lifetime. One of the ways you can achieve this goal is to avoid periodontal disease (“peri” – around; “odont” – tooth), which is caused by bacteria that attack the ...

    Read More
  • Mouthrinses

    Numerous studies have shown that using an appropriate mouth rinse, in conjunction with regular brushing and flossing, is an easy and effective way for you to improve your overall oral health. As part of a regular program of oral hygiene, mouth rinses (which are sometimes called mouthwashes) can be effective ...

    Read More
  • Oral Hygiene for Kids

    Teeth can last a lifetime if you take care of them right — and the best time to start is just as soon as they begin appearing. By establishing good oral hygiene routines for your children right from the start, you'll give them the best chance of keeping their teeth healthy — forever. Tooth decay, ...

    Read More
  • Invisalign for Teens

    There's a new technology that's (literally) putting a smile on plenty of young faces: A system of clear, removable aligners made especially for teens called Invisalign Teen®! If you (or a teenager you know) are a candidate for this treatment, you might find it's the best fit for your lifestyle: It lets ...

    Read More
  • Fillings

    If you have never had a cavity, congratulations! If you have had one, you are not alone. About 78% of us have had at least one cavity by the time we reach age 17, according to a 2000 report by the U.S. Surgeon General. Fortunately there's a time-tested treatment for cavities: the dental filling. Fillings ...

    Read More
  • Orthodontic FAQs

    What do orthodontists do? Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose and treat problems with the position, alignment or spacing of the teeth, and related irregularities in the face and the jaw. A number of special treatments, including braces and other oral appliances, are used to correct these ...

    Read More
  • Sinus Surgery

    If you want to replace a missing or failing tooth with a state-of-the-art dental implant (watch dental implant video), your dentist will first need to make sure that you have sufficient bone in your jaw to anchor the implant. This is true no matter what type of tooth is being replaced. However, if it ...

    Read More
  • Tips to Prevent Cavities

    Cavities are little holes in teeth that can eventually cause big problems. They form when tooth-eroding acid attacks a tooth's protective outer covering (enamel). This acid mainly comes from two sources: your diet, and certain oral bacteria that thrive in the absence of effective oral hygiene. If cavities ...

    Read More