Many people feel tempted to brush their teeth less diligently and allow mouthwash to pick up the slack, especially in the morning. While mouthwashes are an important addition to your daily hygiene routine, you should not overestimate them. Proper oral hygiene requires manual maintenance, like brushing and flossing every day, as well as attending scheduled checkups every six months. In this article, Dr. Ryan Hussong and the Cornerstone Dental team shed light on why mouthwash is important to maintaining good oral health.
Do You Really Need Mouthwash?
Liquid mouthwash can flow around your teeth and gums, freeing debris and plaque that your toothbrush and floss could not reach. If plaque remains on your teeth for more than 48 hours, it will calcify (harden) into tartar. This hard substance can lead to gum disease, and tartar cannot be removed with brushing, flossing, or rinsing your mouth with mouthwash. With a little “swishing” on your part, you can reduce your risk of neglected plaque becoming an issue.
What’s In Your Mouthwash?
Cosmetic mouthwashes reduce bad breath and leave your mouth feeling fresh. Therapeutic mouthwashes help fight the bacteria that cause plaque, gingivitis (gum disease), cavities, and halitosis (chronic bad breath). Most mouthwashes, though, share a few key ingredients that make them effective cleansers. Detergents in mouthwash break up debris and plaque buildup. Alcohol or another antimicrobial agent kills germs and bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath.
The mouthwash you use should depend on your specific dental health needs. During your dental visit, Dr. Hussong will perform a comprehensive exam, then suggest a mouthwash suited to your dental health. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hussong, call Cornerstone Dental in Polk City at (515) 984-6001. We welcome families from Des Moines, Polk City, Ames, Ankeny, Alleman, Bondurant, Grimes, Johnston, and the surrounding communities.