Mouthwashes: Should They Be In My Oral Health Routine?


At Cedar Bluff Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we recommend a good oral health routine. This includes brushing twice a day for two minutes each time you brush and flossing once a day. Additionally, it is important to visit Dr. Bayer and his team at Cedar Bluff Family and Cosmetic Dentistry twice a year for a dental cleaning and examination. However, many patients ask us if they should include a mouthwash in their oral health routine. Read more to find out the advantages and disadvantages of using a mouthwash in your oral health routine.

What Is A MouthWash Made Of?

Modern mouthwash dates back to the 1800s, but before that, many types of mouthwash included vinegar, olive juice, and tortoise blood. However, today’s mouthwash is made to stop the growth of bacteria, freshen breath, prevent gum disease, and strengthen teeth. The most common active ingredient in mouthwashes is cetylpyridinium chloride, which protects the gums. This can also be mixed with benzyl alcohol, which freshens breath. Mouthwashes may also have vitamins and minerals in them for better overall health. The rest of the mouthwash, about 50% of it, is deionized water.



When mouthwashes are used in with a good oral hygiene they can improve your oral health. Many types of mouthwash include fluoride, which strengthens your tooth’s outer surface. Along with good oral hygiene, this can help stop tooth decay and gum disease. Mouthwashes can also reduce bad breath and infections! Secondly, if you are pregnant, Dr. Bayer may want you to use a mouthwash to stop the development of gum disease. Because of the increase in hormones and blood flow, your gums may become infected more easily. Gum disease can also promote premature labor. Dr. Bayer may also recommend using mouthwash after a surgery or if you have a canker sore. If you are asked to not brush after surgery, Dr. Bayer may ask you to use a mouthwash to reduce inflammation and sores after surgery.  


There are many benefits to using mouthwash; however, there also are some downsides. Parts of the mouth such as tender parts and canker sores can become damaged if you use strong mouthwash with alcohol. Mouthwash can also give you a false sense of clean teeth. You cannot replace brushing and flossing with mouthwash; however, if your mouth feels clean, you may skip your oral health routine. This can lead to many negative consequences. Lastly, children below five should not use mouthwash and children between six and twelve should have a parent with them when they use mouthwash. This is because mouthwash can become dangerous if you swallow too much.

Overall, if mouthwash is used with the other parts of your oral health routine, it can help freshen your breath and prevent cavities along with gingivitis. However, if it is misused it can damage your oral and overall health. For more information on how to care for your oral health or to plan your next visit with Cedar Bluff Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, call us at (864)-962-6768 today!

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