A Beginner’s Guide to Oral Rinses and Their Uses

For many of us, the use of oral rinses is one of the three steps of cleaning our teeth. That is why it is so important to learn about oral rinses. What are their uses and benefits? How do we choose the best one?

All these questions are answered in this simple guide to oral rinses.

Cosmetic oral rinses

There are two types of mouth rinses. The most widely available variety is cosmetic mouth rinses. They are sold over the counter and used to freshen breath and rinse food debris out of the mouth.

A few brands of cosmetic rinses are alcohol-free, but most cosmetic mouthwash brands have high concentrations of alcohol. The problem with alcohol-based oral rinses is that they dry out the mouth, increasing the risk of dental health problems. Using alcohol-based mouth rinses to enhance dental health is often counterproductive.

Rather than eliminating bad breath, cosmetic oral rinses mask it. The pleasant smell only lasts a couple of hours.

Though many brands of cosmetic mouthwash are purely for cosmetic use, a few brands have ingredients that enhance dental health. Oral rinses that have fluoride and zinc nourish and protect the teeth. Such rinses double as therapeutic mouth rinses.

The many uses of therapeutic oral rinses

Therapeutic mouth rinses are specially made to treat or prevent oral health problems. Most of them are approved by the FDA and The American Dental Association. Different types of therapeutic mouthwash have different uses. For example:

1. Anti-plaque mouthwash is used to treat gum disease. This kind of oral rinse must be prescribed by a dentist. It contains medication that fights plaque and the bacteria that cause it. By inhibiting harmful bacteria, anti-plaque mouthwash arrests the progression of gum disease.

Unfortunately, the active ingredient in the rinse may leave a bitter after-taste in the mouth.

2. Anti-tartar mouthwash reduces the buildup of tartar: Mouthwash that contains compounds like zinc citrate eats away at tartar.

3. Antiseptic mouth rinses lessen the amount of bacteria in the mouth. Its purpose is to prevent the occurrence of cavities, gum disease, and infection.

4. Anti-cavity mouth rinses contain a high concentration of fluoride. This type of mouth rinse is often prescribed to people with enamel. Fluoride strengthens the enamel, and it is essential for people who have dental bridges or orthodontic appliances that weaken the teeth.

When to avoid oral rinses

Alcohol-based oral rinses should be given a wide berth. Some prescription mouth rinses have powerful and corrosive ingredients that cause side effects like stained teeth, burning, sores, bad aftertastes, and tartar buildup.

If side effects manifest, see a dentist and have the prescription changed to a milder mouth rinse.

How do you know which oral rinse is best for you?

How well an oral rinse works depends on its ingredients, but how would a regular person know which components are good or bad? This is where the dentist comes in.

Because they have inside knowledge about the efficacy of oral hygiene products, dentists are the perfect people to prescribe or recommend a mouth rinse. A dentist will tell you which mouthwash to avoid and which one to use.

We are always ready to answer your oral rinse questions!

Looking to improve your oral health? Call our office and speak with one of our dentists today!

Request an appointment in our Visalia dentist office here: https://www.dentistofvisalia.com.

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