Mouthwashes and mouth rinses are useful additions to your arsenal in the fight against oral health problems. However, it is a mistake to believe that mouthwash and/or mouth rinse can replace manual plaque and debris removal, such as brushing your teeth and flossing. Dr. Fondriest and his team clarify a few interesting facts about mouthwash and its proper function.
What is Mouthwash?
There are two types of mouthwash, medicated and non-medicated. Some medicated mouthwashes are available over the counter, while others are prescribed by Dr. Fondriest for gum infections, oral ulcers, or post-surgical use. Non-medicated mouthwashes, also known as cosmetic mouthwashes, are available over the counter. Every mouthwash is different, but there are a few common ingredients found in most brands. Detergents help break up and remove food debris and plaque from your mouth. Flavoring and coloring agents create the unique look and taste of a mouthwash and create the fresh breath feeling you experience after rinsing. Alcohol, or another antimicrobial agent, kills germs that lead to tooth decay and bad breath. Preservatives stop the growth of bacteria within the mouthwash, and water dissolves all of the other ingredients together. Some mouth rinses also contain fluoride, a compound that combats acid attacks against the teeth.
What Mouthwash is Not
Contrary to popular belief, mouthwash alone is not intended to fight against plaque and tartar buildup. As liquids, they are able to wash away particles and debris from areas where your toothbrush or dental floss cannot reach, and help you fight against tooth decay. They leave your mouth feeling cleaner and more refreshed. However, even with therapeutic mouth rinses prescribed by Dr. Fondriest, entrusting your oral health to mouthwash alone is a bit like washing a dirty dish by hand with only water and no dish rag. No amount of mouthwash can replace proper manual dental maintenance. It is imperative that you only use mouthwash as a supplement to your daily oral health routine. Continue to properly brush and floss your teeth, and schedule regular checkups with your local Lake Forest dentist.
Proper Dental Health Care in Lake Forest
Now that you’ve learned the proper use for your mouthwash, you are one step closer to achieving ideal dental health. For more information on maintaining a brilliant, healthy smile, or to schedule a dental appointment with Lake Forest family dentist Dr. James Fondriest, contact our Lake Forest dentist office at (847) 234-0517. We offer superior family and cosmetic dentistry to patients from Grayslake, Barrington, Lake Forest, Winnetka, Highland Park, North Shore, and Chicago.