Teeth and gums benefit tremendously when individuals incorporate mouthwash into their daily oral care regimen. Even though mouthwash should not be supplemented for brushing and flossing, the additional health benefits will help keep the mouth healthy and prevent any oral issues from arising. Understanding the different types of mouthwashes will help individuals choose the best one to fit their oral health needs and goals.
To keep things simple, there are two major types of mouthwashes: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwash is primarily used for temporarily masking bad breath. However, this kind of mouthwash does not contain any chemical or biological application for tackling other issues, like killing bacteria.
Therapeutic mouthwash is composed of active ingredients to help decrease and prevent oral issues, such as bad breath, gum disease, plaque buildup, and tooth decay. Some of the active ingredients found inside of therapeutic mouthwash are cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine, essential oils, fluoride, and peroxide.
Benefits of Active Ingredients in Therapeutic Mouthwash:
Cetylpyridinium chloride is mainly used to combat bad breath. Chlorhexidine and essential oils both help decrease and prevent plaque and gingivitis from developing throughout the mouth. Fluoride has been scientifically proven to prevent tooth decay. Lastly, peroxide is used as a whitening agent to help remove stains and discoloration from the tooth’s outer layer, also known as enamel.
Many therapeutic mouthwashes are available over-the-counter. However, depending on the oral issue being treated, a prescription may be necessary. A dental professional will evaluate the oral issue and recommend which type of mouthwash is best to resolve the complication.
For individuals purchasing mouthwash over-the-counter, it’s important to purchase products that have the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance on them. The seal ensures that the mouthwash has been tested and approved, meaning all of the ingredients are accurate and the product functions how the label says it does.
The ADA council evaluates the scientific evidence provided by the company to ensure their claims are adequate.
When companies claim that their mouthwashes help reduce tooth decay, they must provide clinical studies that demonstrate the product’s effectiveness, or prove that the product’s formula has been clinically proven. If companies claim their mouthwashes control gum infections, they must show evidence of drastically reduced gingival inflammation. Companies who claim their mouthwashes eliminate bad breath, they must provide studies demonstrating how the product reduced oral malodor. Lastly, if a company claims that their product temporarily relieves dry mouth, they must provide data proving that statement.
At McBride Dental, we offer preventative care services to assist our patients with keeping their teeth and gums healthy so they can enjoy the smile of their dreams. Some of our preventative care services include thorough examinations, X-rays, and deep cleanings. For those who may have extensive oral issues, we may prescribe a specific mouthwash to help resolve their symptoms. Contact our office if you’re in the San Diego area and would like to schedule an appointment at (760) 471-1003.