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The Role of Mouthwash in Your Oral Care Routine


You have heard all of your life about how important flossing and brushing are, but what about mouthwash? A walk down the dental aisle at your local drug store may leave you questioning whether or not mouthwash is necessary. After all, they claim to fight cavities and prevent gum disease, so adding them to your daily oral health care routine seems like something that you should do. Right?

First, let’s take a look at what mouthwash is not:

Mouthwash is not a replacement for brushing and flossing. Period. Floss is a tool that was specifically designed to reach the tight spaces between the teeth in order to remove tiny food particles that become stuck after eating and to remove plaque buildup from between the teeth. Toothbrushes are designed to loosen and brush away plaque from the surfaces of the teeth. Mouthwash is not designed to do either of these jobs. Nothing can take the place of flossing daily and brushing at least twice a day for the purposes of cleaning your teeth.

Now, let’s look at what mouthwash is:

Mouthwash is a tool that can be used alongside your oral health care routine to help protect the health of your mouth. Mouthwash is a rinsing agent that has ingredients supported by the American Dental Association (ADA) to prevent cavities and lower your risk of gum disease. It is essential that you choose a mouthwash with the ADA’s seal of approval in order to ensure that your mouthwash has the necessary ingredients to promote oral health.

Is it a Good Idea for You?

Antibacterial mouthwash helps to kill the bacteria that make up dental plaque. While mouthwash will not remove plaque from the teeth, it can kill the bacteria within the plaque so that the damaging effects of plaque are significantly lessened. It is important that you recognize your risk for gum disease and cavities, as this can be an influential factor in whether or not you should add mouthwash to your daily dental hygiene routine.

Pregnant women should also use an ADA approved mouthwash throughout their entire pregnancy in order to prevent gum disease. The huge fluctuation of hormone levels in nine short months can cause the gums to become irritated and vulnerable to gum disease. Gum disease has been directly linked to miscarriage, preterm labor, and low birth weight babies. By protecting the mouth against gum disease during pregnancy, both the mother’s health and the developing baby’s health can be safeguarded.

If you have any questions regarding mouthwash and whether or not you should add it to your oral health care routine, contact Green Dental of Alexandria today. We are here to help you achieve optimal oral health throughout every aspect of dental care.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park, Green Dental of Alexandria

Green Dental of Alexandria – Alexandria Dentist
1725 Duke St, Suite GR03
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 549-1725

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