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Weddington Family Dentistry
3099 Rock Hill Church Road
Concord, North Carolina 28027

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Mouthwash Is No Longer an Option to Improve Dental Hygiene – It’s a Requirement

At one time, using mouthwash to improve oral healthcare was a standard recommendation. Dental care providers are increasingly expressing a problem with this concept. Many believe that as long as clients have no tooth decay or gum disease, brushing and flossing regularly alone is sufficient. Dentists also caution that relying on mouthwash to eliminate harmful bacteria leads to problems. Removing harmful decay causing plaque requires the abrasive action that brushing and flossing provide. There are other reasons why mouthwash may actually pose a threat to good oral health.

Chemical interactions between toothpaste and mouthwash might negate the benefits. If insisting on using mouthwash to improve oral healthcare, our Concord dentist advises waiting at least 30 minutes between brushing and rinsing with mouthwash. Among the dental hygiene tips that physicians now recommend include using mouthwash at other times during the course of a day. One option involves rinsing after eating lunch to eliminate food particles.

Most popular brands of toothpaste contain fluoride. While spitting out the toothpaste is acceptable when done brushing, rinsing your mouth with mouthwash eliminates the protective effects of the fluoride. While some products also contain fluoride, most people do not gargle long enough to gain the benefits. Mouthwash directions generally instruct gargling for at least one full minute. Few follow the instructions, which eliminates any possibility of enhancing oral healthcare.

Consumers must also evaluate the list of ingredients in mouthwashes. The majority contain between 21 and 26 percent alcohol. Alcohol kills bacteria on contact. However, these products may dry oral tissues. In this instance, certain alcohol-free brands are suitable alternatives. Cetylpyridinium chloride, for example, works in combination with menthol and other essential oils to effectively kill bacteria.

Most people use mouthwash to prevent or treat bad breath issues. However, the problem might occur from the gas that bacteria release. If bad breath persists after thorough brushing and flossing, individuals should consult with our Concord dentist to eliminate bacteria in hidden areas. Once these areas receive treatment, using a mouthwash containing fluoride and xylitol protects teeth and prevent further problems.

By following a few dental hygiene tips, people of all ages increase the likelihood of having health teeth, gums and smile.

* Brush teeth at least twice daily using an ADA-approved fluoride containing toothpaste.

* Use floss at least one time a day.

* Drink water at various times during the day. This is especially important after meals or snacks in order to dilute or remove sugar.

* Choose apples, carrots or celery for snacks, which help clean teeth and gums.

* Avoid chewing tobacco and smoking.

* Visit our Concord dentist at least once a year.