Using mouthwash has become a habitual part in most of our oral health care routines. We brush, floss and rinse mouthwash before we head out the door. Many people question whether or not we need to use mouthwash every day and wonder why they’re using it in the first place. Is it even beneficial to my teeth? Is it magic cure-all liquid? Interestingly, yes and no. Before you decide whether or not to give the swash to mouthwash, continue reading to learn about the pros and cons about the rinse you swish in your mouth.

The Pros of Using Mouthwash

These benefits are the potential results obtained by including mouthwash as a part of a thorough oral health care routine that incorporates brushing and flossing. It’s important to note that using mouthwash alone is not suitable or recommended when wanting to achieve these benefits listed below.

Helps Fight Cavities

Mouthwash that contains fluoride aids to rinse away cavity-causing bacteria that cause decay. Fluoride reduces demineralization by strengthening and protecting the teeth enamel from cavities that would eat away the surface.

Healthy Gums

Antibacterial mouthwash helps with keeping your gums nice and healthy. As the bacteria are washed away, it’s less likely to stick on your tooth sockets and gums. When left untreated the gums can become inflamed, infected and at risk of disease due to the buildup of plaque.

Minty Breath

The benefit we all love - fresh clean breath that comes with the swish of mouthwash! Having fresh breath is a confidence booster as you start the day with stimulated senses.

Soothes Mouth Ulcers & Canker Sores

Mouth ulcers and canker sores are painful sores formed inside the mouth, appearing on the tongue, side of the cheeks, the floor of the mouth and back of the palate/tonsil area. Mouthwash can soothe the pain and irritation by detoxing the area and reduce the levels of bacteria by helping the sores heal faster.  

The Cons of Using Mouthwash

There are a few negative outcomes that come with the use of mouthwash that has alcohol present.

Cause Irritation

Mouthwashes that contain high levels of alcohol have powerful antibacterial properties, however, highly concentrated amounts of alcohol can irritate the tissues in the mouth. Experiencing a burning sensation when using mouthwash is an indicating factor that it has very high alcohol content, making the fresh experience difficult and painful.

Masks Bad Breath

Depending on how bad a patient's oral health is, mouthwash might not be a solution in obtaining a freshly cover up. A lot of people believe that mouthwash cures halitosis (bad breath) when in reality the minty effect is short-lived. There is a difference between masking the odour and treating the condition. If you do experience bad breath, discuss the issue with your dentist to treat the underlying issue.

Not safe for accidental consumption

This is a major reason as to why mouthwash isn’t recommended for the use of minors and young children below the age of 6. Mouthwash contains chemicals and substances that are not safe if accidentally swallowed.

Increased Tooth Sensitivity

Excessive mouthwash use can cause mouth dryness, leading to potential tooth sensitivity. The sensitivity is caused by the lack of saliva in the mouth, leaving the teeth bare and unprotected.

Links to Oral Cancer

The constant ongoing debate as to whether alcoholic mouthwash is linked with the development of oral cancer. Studies are still being undertaken to produce more information regarding the cancer link.

As you can see, there isn’t a definite yes or no answer whether mouthwash is something you should use every day. Most dentists still stress the fact of not replacing proper oral health care of brushing and flossing with mouthwash. It’s more important to have a well-established routine of cleaning your teeth twice a day than using mouthwash. Still have any concerns and questions? Book an appointment at Australia Fair Dental and let us help you by providing knowledge and guidance on your oral health care routine.