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Common Questions About Using Mouthwash

July 11th, 2019

While preventive dentistry is designed to keep dental disease at bay, a major component of prevention is caring for your teeth at home. Most people are familiar with daily brushing and flossing, however following are some common questions about using mouthwash. For more information, contact your trusted team at Avalon Dental Care. We are all about helping you enjoy a fresh and healthy smile for a lifetime.

What are the Benefits of Using Mouthwash?

Mouthwash has been shown to reduce the risk of gingivitis (early gum disease), tooth decay, the formation of tartar, and also freshens your breath. Different mouthwashes use different components, but the common ingredients include antimicrobial agents that kill bacteria in the mouth, fluoride that helps repair damaged enamel and astringent salts that mask bad breath (halitosis). 

What Are the Types of Mouthwash?

The main types of mouthwash are antiseptic, plaque-inhibiting, and preventive. While some overlap in their effectiveness, antiseptic mouthwashes are used to treat specific conditions, plaque-inhibiting mouthwash helps reduce gum disease and tooth decay, and preventative mouthwash helps prevent tooth decay.

How Should You Use Mouthwash?

Mouthwash should not be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing. It is usually best to use it after thoroughly cleaning your teeth. Make sure you use the recommended amount according to the product’s label. Keep the liquid in your mouth for at least 30 seconds and swish it to ensure it comes in contact with all your teeth. If using a fluoride mouthwash, refrain from drinking, eating, or smoking for at least 30 minutes.

Can Children Use Mouthwash?

The American Dental Association (ADA) warns parents against allowing children under six to use mouthwash unless directed by a dentist because they are more likely to swallow mouthwash inadvertently. However, fluoride mouthwash can help fight cavities, so it remains beneficial for use by most older children and adults.

Once your child is ready for mouthwash, start by practicing swishing with water. When your child keeps the liquid in the mouth without swallowing it, switch to mouthwash. Make sure you supervise the oral care routine, or better yet, brush, floss, and rinse alongside your child to model the expected habits. 

Quality Care Starts Here

Contact Avalon Dental Care to learn more about preventive care aimed at ensuring your mouth stays in tip-top shape. Along with meticulous oral hygiene practices at home, keeping up with routine dental checkups and cleanings will help prevent dental disease. We look forward to helping you maintain your bright and healthy smile for years to come!

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