You can ask any ten-year old how to have healthy teeth, and he or she will tell you, “Brush after every meal and floss once a day.” And, for the most part, the kid would be right on the money. But what about the critical next step—the “last” step—for dental home care, anyway? We’re talking about using a dentist-recommended oral rinse. Not all rinses are recommended for everyone; some might even be too strong.
What are some of the benefits you might want in an oral rinse? Notice we didn’t say mouthwash? Although many people use the terms interchangeably, mouthwash is merely for freshening your breath and has no true benefits for your teeth and gums. Regular mouthwash doesn’t kill the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Such bacteria, mutans streptococci, cause the disease dental caries. Mutans are also the culprits in periodontal (gum) disease. These bacteria can also lead to heart disease, respiratory illness, bone disease, sinus and ear problems, and even systemic illnesses.
If a person grows up in a rural area, there might not be fluoride in the water supply. Fluoride strengthens teeth not only against dental caries, but also against thinning of tooth enamel—strong enamel prevents sensitivity to temperatures and touch. A quality oral rinse effectively kills the germs and strengthens teeth, with fluoride. It also fights plaque, and evens out pH levels to neutralize acids that—you guessed it—lead to cavities. Oral rinse is all about killing germs AND protecting teeth; mouthwash isn’t.
The American Dental Association recommends using an oral rinse along with brushing and flossing, which take care of most of the work. But adding a protective barrier of added fluoride, plus killing dangerous germs, only makes good sense for home care. These measures you take at home go along with expert dental care like that Dr. Fondriest and our team for your general, dental needs.