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A mouthwash is a solution used as an adjunct to regular oral hygiene methods, like brushing and flossing. Commercial often claim mouthwash helps prevent plaque formation as well as to treat certain specific conditions like gum infections, bad breath, ulcers, etc. Using mouth wash alone is not sufficient!
For most people mouthwashes are not needed.
Should I use a rinse? 1
That depends upon your needs. Most rinses are, at the very least, effective oral antiseptics that freshen the mouth and curb bad breath for up to three hours. Their success in preventing tooth decay, gingivitis (inflammation of the gingival gum tissue) and periodontal disease is limited, however. Rinses are not considered substitutes for regular dental examinations and proper home care. Dentists stress a regimen of brushing with a fluoride toothpaste followed by flossing, twice a day. If done consistently and properly, the brushing and flossing, along with routine trips to the dentist, should be sufficient in fighting), tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Which type should I use? 1
This depends upon your need. While further testing is needed, initial studies have shown that most over-the-counter antiplaque rinses and antiseptics aren't much more effective against plaque and periodontal disease than rinsing with plain water.
Most dentists are skeptical about the value of these antiplaque products, and studies point to only a 20 to 25 percent effectiveness, at best, in reducing the plaque that causes gingivitis.
Anticavity rinses with fluoride, however, have been clinically proven to fight up to 50 percent more of the bacteria that cause cavities. Nevertheless, many dentists consider the use of fluoride toothpaste alone to be adequate.
Types of Mouthwashes 2
Other mouthwashes available may contain chemicals like Stannous Fluoride, Cetylpyridinium Chloride, Sanguinarine, Sodium Benzoate, etc. These may be classified as either medicated or non-medicated, as their constituents are such that no prescription is required, but their use cannot be decided on by the patient himself.
Many people like to use a mouthwash to control their bad breath. This may be done on a short-term basis, but is unlikely to cure the underlying cause. The only way to rid yourself of bad breath is to get yourself examined to determine the cause and undergo the required specific treatment.
One important variety of mouthwash is the one containing fluoride. This kind can be used by individuals having an excessive tendency to tooth decay, or those living in areas having inadequate fluoride in their water supply. This method of fluoride enhancement is simple and very effective in preventing tooth decay.
In conclusion, mechanical plaque control (toothbrushing) is necessary and not replaceable by mouthwashes. Physical plaque control remains the most important goal in the prevention of dental diseases and maintenance of oral health.
Doctors Corner INternet Group, Inc. 1997-2004
Modified: February 3, 2002