Mouthwash FAQs: Christopher and Anne Thompson, DDS
Mouthwash is one of many powerful oral health products that may find its way into your hygiene routine. Mouthwash is especially useful for helping rinse debris from teeth, killing harmful bacteria, and keeping your breath smelling fresh and clean. Below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions we hear about mouthwash at our Turlock dental practice.
Should I Use Mouthwash?
This decision is ultimately up to you and your dentist. Mouthwash can be useful as a complementary addition to an oral health routine, but some conditions such as recent oral surgery may compel you to hold off on using it until you heal. On the other hand, there are also many different types of mouthwash suited for specific conditions. Talk to your dentist during your next appointment about which mouthwash, if any, may be best for you.
What Does Mouthwash Contain?
Specific ingredients will vary by brand, but mouthwash in general consists of alcohol, fluoride, water, antiseptics, preservatives, and sweeteners or flavoring.
If I Forgot to Brush My Teeth, I Can Just Use Mouthwash, Right?
No, no, no, and no. Although mouthwash may help kill bacteria and rinse away some of the biofilm that will build up as a result of a missed brushing, mouthwash should never be considered a substitute for brushing.
Should I Brush, Floss, or Use Mouthwash First?
According to the American Dental Association, the order of your oral hygiene matters much less than paying attention to each part of the routine.
How Often Should I Use Mouthwash?
If your dentist recommends adding mouthwash to your routine, use it once or twice a day when you brush.
Does Mouthwash Have Any Safety Concerns?
Be especially careful if you have sores or any open wounds in your mouth. Additionally, mouthwash is about 20% alcohol, so practice extra caution around children. In general, mouthwash isn't recommended for children younger than six years old.
Have Additional Questions?
If you'd like to get an answer for a question that isn't listed here, please contact us!