This is a very common question that comes up during a patient’s dental appointment. There are so many different mouthwashes to choose from when you go to your local store and will make you wonder which one do I need. Every person is different when it comes to their oral care needs. Your dentist or hygienist can best guide you in the right direction.
If you are experiencing dry mouth, it is best to go with a mouthwash like Biotene, Act Dry Mouth, TheraBreath, etc. Dry mouth is when your salivary glands cannot produce enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Dry mouth is often due to the side effect of certain medications or aging issues or as a result of radiation therapy for cancer. Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria, limiting bacterial growth and washing away food particles. Saliva enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to chew and swallow. Saliva has enzymes that aid in digestion. Decreased saliva and dry mouth can range from being merely a nuisance to something that has a major impact on your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your appetite and enjoyment of food.
HISTORY/PREVENTION OF CAVITIES
If you have a history of cavities, using an anti-cavity fluoride mouthrinse is a great option for you. A fluoride mouthwash does not remove plaque, it works by protecting your tooth from acids produced by the bacterial plaque. IT IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR BRUSHING AND FLOSSING! The fluoride in the rinse works into the enamel coating of your teeth, and can help protect against cavities in people who are susceptible. Even though a proper amount of fluoride is important for adults, it is especially crucial for children. Fluoride helps prevent and reverse early stages of tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel and allowing teeth damaged by acid from plaque to remineralize themselves. They have a variety of anti-cavity mouthrinses on the market for adults and children. Just make sure to purchase ones that contain fluoride.
If you have periodontal disease you may benefit from a prescription mouth rinse recommended by your dentist. One of the mouthwashes that may be recommended is Peridex. This is a germicidal mouth rinse that reduces bacteria in the mouth. Peridex is prescribed by your dentist to help treat gingivitis (red, swollen, bleeding gums).
There are also many other rinses containing chlorhexidine that can help treat periodontal disease along with regular brushing and flossing. Ask your dentist or hygienist what rinse would best help you!