Mouthwashes can aid in your oral hygiene. Are mouthwashes safe, which brands are available and what is the best mouthwash?
Mouthwashes aid in improving your overall oral health and give you a fresh breath. So which types of mouthwash are available and what is the best mouthwash to use?
Types Of Mouthwashes
Mouthwashes come in a number of variants. Pay attention to the following points when choosing a mouthwash.
Alcohol. Some people don’t like to use a mouthwash that contains alcohol, for instance, because they have kids or had a history of alcohol abuse. It is indeed not advisable to use a mouthwash containing alcohol when your kids are using it, as mouthwashes can contain anywhere from 6%- 26.9% of alcohol.
Another reason that people don’t like to use alcohol-containing mouthwashes is that it increases the risk of oral cancer. This has not been proven with normal use: twice a day (unless stated otherwise on the product you’re using).
However, there is a clear correlation between alcohol consumption and oral cancer. So maybe it is wise not to use alcohol-containing mouthwash when you consume alcohol, smoke or when you have a known genetic predisposition for developing cancer. Here is a good resource on the oral cancer risk factors.
Sensitive Gums. People who have sensitive gums can find using mouthwashes to be irritating. In that case, it is also advisable not to use a mouthwash that contains alcohol. There are a number of good mouthwashes that do not contain alcohol, as you can read below.
Plaque. Mouthwashes have anti-bacterial supplements next to the presence of alcohol, such as eucalyptol and thymol. These ingredients are added at very low concentrations but can be toxic, which makes it important not to swallow mouthwash.
Fluoride. Fluoride improves the strength of the enamel, as it deposits in the low-density areas of the teeth. It is therefore added to toothpaste, but it is also beneficial in mouthwashes.
Whitening. Some mouthwashes have ingredients that help in whitening your teeth. Read more about the best whitening mouthwash here.
Dry Mouth. Mouthwashes can help to moisturize your mouth when you have a dry mouth.
What Is The Best Mouthwash?
There are a number of good mouthwash brands on the market, which have been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) for being effective. Here is our list:
One of the most popular and best brands of mouthwashes approved by the ADA is Listerine, which has a broad range of products. Most their products contain alcohol, but if you don’t want a mouthwash that contains alcohol, Listerine has two options: Listerine Zero or Total Care Zero.
ACT is another popular brand of mouthwashes and for good reasons. Also approved by the ADA and with numerous variants ACT mouthwash is a great choice! They produce fluoride containing, alcohol-free mouthwashes and mouth rinse specifically for moisturizing the mouth.
Swan antiseptic mouth rinse has few choices, as they only produce an antiseptic version that contains alcohol and does not have fluoride, but is proven to be effective by the ADA.
There are many types of mouthwash from other brands that can be used, although not all have been approved by the FDA. This means they have either not been tested or do not work. For a full list of mouthwashes approved by the ADA click here.
How To Use Mouthwashes?
Always read and follow the information and instructions on the product you are using. In general, you can use mouthwashes twice a day, after brushing.
It can be especially beneficial when you use a mouthwash before you go to sleep. During your sleep, your mouth dries making your teeth and gums more susceptible to bacteria, as your saliva has antibacterial properties.
Usually, you need to use the product for 30 seconds to 1 minute and spit it out (do not swallow!). Do not rinse your mouth with water and do not eat for at least 30 minutes after using the mouthwash, as the antiseptic ingredients and fluoride continue to work afterward.
These are the general guidelines, but, again, make sure to read the information on the product you are using.
Facts And Fiction About Mouthwashes
Mouthwashes With Alcohol Are Dangerous
True and Not True.
It is not advisable to use a mouthwash that contains alcohol when your kids are also using it since mouthwashes can contain over 20% of alcohol.
Also, there is a clear correlation between consuming alcohol and oral cancer. For mouthwashes, this has not been firmly concluded due to the complexity of these kinds of studies. If you consume alcohol on a regular basis, smoke, or have a genetic predisposition for developing cancer, it is advisable not to use a mouthwash that contains alcohol.
Everybody Should Use A Mouthwash
It is not essential to use a mouthwash, although using a mouthwash additionally can definitely help maintaining an optimal oral health. It can be necessary to use a mouthwash in some cases, like when you have an infection (make sure to consult a dentist!) or your health professional advises you to use it. It is essential though that you take good care of your teeth: brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
You Don’t Need to Brush When Using A Mouthwash
Using a mouthwash alone is not sufficient to prevent plaque and cavities from forming. Brushing twice a day and flossing are a must!
Mouthwashes Help In Maintaining A Good Oral Health
Daily use of a good mouthwash can help to reduce plaque formation and make your gums healthier, but only when you brush and floss daily.
Using A Mouthwash Prevent Cavities
True and Not True.
Mouthwashes alone do not prevent cavities from forming, as it is required to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Mouthwashes do add to your overall oral hygiene and health.