Mouthwashes are popular mouth rinses used to clean your teeth and gums. It is often used in conjunction with brushing and flossing and is supposed to help prevent cavities, tooth decay, and other dental problems. But does mouthwash work? And more importantly, does it prevent cavities?

What is mouthwash, and what are its benefits?

Mouthwash, or mouth rinse, is a liquid used to rinse the mouth. It is supposed to clean the mouth, freshen breath, and prevent cavities. Some benefits of mouthwash include:

  • Battle bad breath
  • Fight tooth decay
  • Clear up canker sores
  • Reduce the risk of plaque and gingivitis
  • Remove food and bacteria build-up
  • Kill bacteria
  • Reduce dental plaque
  • Whiten Teeth
  • Reduce tooth sensitivity
  • Promote healthy gums
  • Strengthen enamel

What are different types of mouthwash, and how do they help teeth?

There are different kinds of mouthwash available. Some are best for people with bad breath, sensitive teeth, mouth ulcers, gum disease, or recent dental surgery.

Each mouth rinse has various ingredients. The specific ingredients in mouthwash can vary depending on the type of product. Mouthwash typically contains water, alcohol, and different chemicals. Some mouthwashes also contain ingredients that help reduce the acidity in the mouth or neutralize oral pH. This can help to protect the tooth enamel from damage and prevent cavities.

Fluoride Mouthwash

Mouthwashes, including sodium fluoride, help prevent tooth decay and prevent cavities. Be careful when using a fluoride mouth wash along with fluoride toothpaste. It is easy to go more than the recommended daily amount.

Antiseptic Mouthwash

This type of mouthwash has active ingredients that include alcohol thymol, triclosan, cetylpyridinium chloride, or chlorhexidine. Antiseptic mouthwash’s goal is to prevent bacterial growth. It is perfect for those with mouth infections but can also aid in fighting bad breath. 

Cosmetic Mouthwash

The food you consume is often the cause of stinky breath or improper hygiene. Cosmetic mouthwash is used to maintain a fresher breath. However, it doesn’t do much more than that and doesn’t last long.

Dry Mouth Mouthwash

Mouthwash designed for dry mouth contains xylitol. This beneficial sugar alcohol reduces the bonding of tiny bacteria to the teeth’s surface. Just like any other sweetener, xylitol increases salivary flow.

Whitening Mouthwash

Whitening mouthwash contains hydrogen peroxide, a substance that can remove stains and make your teeth look whiter over time.

Desensitizing Mouthwash

This mouth rinse reduces gum and teeth sensitivity to temperature changes and sweets.

Natural Mouthwash

Some people prefer using natural remedies such as saltwater mouthwash. This is an ideal short-term treatment, especially if you have wounds in your mouth or when you’ve had teeth removed. Mixing saltwater and essential oils such as lemongrass, clove, peppermint, or orange can help improve your oral hygiene. 

Are there any side effects to using mouthwash?

Mouthwash is generally safe to use, but it can occasionally cause side effects. Some people may experience mouth irritation or a burning sensation when they use mouthwash. This is usually temporary and goes away once the product is discontinued. 

Besides an allergic reaction, mouthwash can increase the sensitivity of your teeth. Alcohol-based mouthwash can dissolve mucus, leaving your teeth more vulnerable. High levels of alcohol can also irritate canker sores. If this happens to you, you should consider alcohol-free mouthwashes. Sometimes mouthwash can contain heavy dyes, which will stain your teeth.

If you experience any side effects after mouthwash, discontinue use and get professional medical advice.

How often should you use mouthwash for the best results?

There is no clear answer to this question. Some people use mouthwash several times a day, while others only use it once or twice a week. It is generally recommended to use mouthwash after brushing and flossing.

If you are using mouthwash to help control plaque and gum disease or prevent tooth decay, it is essential to use it as part of a regular oral care routine. This means using it at least twice a day after brushing and flossing.

If you are using mouthwash that contains fluoride, it is essential to follow the instructions on the package. Some products recommend using them once or twice a day, while others only recommend using them once a week.

Overall, the best way to use mouthwash is to follow the package’s instructions and use it as part of a regular oral health care routine. This means brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash at least twice a day.

Does mouthwash prevent cavities and tooth decay?

So, to answer our question, does mouthwash reduces cavities? The answer is a resounding yes! Mouthwash plays an essential role in cavity prevention by reducing plaque and bacteria levels in the mouth. Daily use of mouthwash helps prevent periodontal disease, and if the mouthwash contains fluoride, combats cavities when used correctly.

Can mouthwash replace regular brushing and flossing?

Mouthwash is an excellent tool to use in conjunction with brushing and flossing to help maintain oral health. However, it is crucial to remember that mouthwash does not replace these other activities. An excellent daily mouth care routine is necessary for your dental health. Regular brushing and flossing are still the best ways to prevent cavities. Mouthwash is not strictly necessary if you brush your teeth thoroughly, floss daily, and brush twice a day. 

What’s the best mouthwash for me?

All mouthwashes are not created equal. Picking a mouthwash that you like based on your favorite flavor may not be as beneficial as you think. There are a lot more to mouthwashes than what meets the eye.

Here are some suggestions for finding the best mouthwash based on your needs:

Bad Breath

  • Thereabreathe Fresh Breathe Oral Rinse Icy Mint
  • Listerine Cool Mint 
  • Aesop Mouthwash Bain De Bouche

Stained Teeth

  • Crest 3D White Brilliance Teeth Whitening
  • Crest 3D White Glamorous Alcohol-Free (For Sensitive Teeth)
  • Listerine Healthy White

Dry Mouth 

  • Biotene Fresh Mint Dry
  • TheraBreath Dry mouth

Poor Gum Health

  • Listerine Gum Therapy Antiseptic
  • Listerine Cool Mint
  • Colgate Gum Health Alcohol-Free Mouthwash

If you’re looking for an easy way to boost your oral health, make sure to add mouthwash to your daily dental routine. With the right mouthwash, you can have fresh breath, healthy gums, and clean, cavity-free teeth. See your dentist or dental hygienist to find out the best way to care for your mouth.