If you’re looking to keep your teeth healthy and strong, you may be wondering if your mouthwash is really helping you. Is mouthwash necessary or useful? Can it really help you keep your mouth healthy? Learn everything you need to know in this blog from Skutak Dental.
First, let’s start with this. Mouthwash is not an essential part of your oral hygiene routine. It’s more of a “nice-to-have.” While it can be useful at removing bacteria from your mouth, it’s no substitute for proper brushing and flossing.
Mouthwash cannot remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing are required to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar, and to remove it once it forms.
If you brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes and clean each surface with a fluoride toothpaste, and you floss once per day to remove plaque, you probably don’t need to add mouthwash into your oral hygiene routine.
However, this doesn’t mean that mouthwash is useless, or cannot have benefits for your oral health. You can (and should) incorporate it into your oral hygiene routine.
Though it’s not an essential part of caring for your teeth, mouthwash does have some great uses.
For example, you can use mouthwash to rinse your mouth after a meal when it’s impractical to brush your teeth. While this won’t be as effective as brushing your teeth, rinsing with mouthwash will kill oral bacteria, rinse away food particles, and help keep your mouth healthy.
You can also incorporate one or two rinses per day to help keep your teeth strong. Rinsing with mouthwash after flossing, for example, can help remove stubborn food particles and debris from your mouth.
However, you should always prioritize brushing and flossing over using mouthwash, when possible. While it’s a good addition to your oral hygiene routine, it’s not considered to be essential by most dentists.
So, you want to use mouthwash to keep your mouth clean. But are you using it right? Chances are, the answer is “no!”
Most people will brush their teeth, then rinse with mouthwash immediately after they’re finished brushing. But this is actually counterproductive. Why? Because toothpaste contains fluoride. Fluoride helps remineralize and strengthen your teeth.
However, the fluoride needs time to sit on your teeth and strengthen them. If you rinse your mouth with mouthwash (or even water) immediately after brushing, you’ll rinse away the fluoride, and you won’t get the maximum benefits from your toothpaste.
So don’t use mouthwash immediately after brushing. Choose a different time to use it, such as immediately before bed, after lunch, or after you floss your teeth. Brushing and using mouthwash at different times will ensure you get the maximum benefits from each step of your dental hygiene routine.
Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can help you maintain a healthy mouth. But at-home dental care isn’t always enough. To ensure your mouth is free of cavities and gum disease, you need to see a dentist like Dr. Lisa Skutak every six months for preventive care, such as an oral exam and teeth cleaning.
Overdue for your next appointment in Rothschild, Wausau or Schofield? We’re here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at (715) 355-4433 to get a checkup, and ensure your teeth and gums are healthy and strong.