Many people include mouthwash in their daily oral hygiene to freshen their breath and prevent the build-up of plaque. In addition to giving your mouth a much-needed minty kick, it comes with a chock-full of health benefits too. This includes reducing various bacteria in between the hard-to-reach corners of the teeth, making it an excellent addition to your dental habits.
With that in mind, mouthwash isn’t a magical cure-all liquid at first glance. Various everyday-care formulas, alcohol-free variants, and herbal blends offer different pros and cons to your oral health. Fortunately, we’re here to breakdown the advantages and drawbacks of using mouthwash to help you decide what’s best for you.
What are the Pros of Using Mouthwash?
1. Promote Oral Health and Good Hygiene
Mouthwashes are typically packed with fluoride to combat periodontal diseases and reduce the risk of cavities by strengthening the teeth enamel. Others are designed to be antiseptic, which means it has chlorhexidine gluconate that helps prevent bacterial growth and soothes inflammatory infections due to plaque build-up. Additionally, mouthwash also removes strains from the teeth and confers a whiter appearance after religious use.
2. Help Heal Cranker Sores
Cranker sores are a form of ulcers that appear in the mouth or tongue, making everyday functions such as talking and eating an uncomfortable ordeal. Mouthwash helps soothe the sores by detoxing the area and reducing the bacteria on the affected site, neutralizing the inflammation overall. Clear saltwater is also an effective alternative for those who don’t use mouthwash.
3. Safeguards Pregnancy
Bacteria in your gums can cause periodontal disease, which is an infection that can penetrate a pregnant woman’s bloodstream. This causes inflammatory markers to increase, which can trigger contractions and risk preterm, low-weight babies. An effective way to keep the oral bacteria away is by gently rinsing with mouthwash after brushing and flossing your teeth.
The Cons of Using Mouthwash
1. Mouthwash with High Alcohol Content Irritates the Mouth
Mouthwash that has high levels of alcohol are designed to disinfect the mouth by killing off bacteria; however, it can leave a burning sensation in the mouth. This can lead to irritation, which may further aggravate cranker sores rather than soothe it.
2. Mask an Underlying Problem with Bad Breath
Mouthwash can only provide temporary freshness to your mouth, but it will not eliminate chronic bad breath. While you can conceal it for a short period, it will not solve oral issues of poor health and can never be a substitute for brushing your teeth.
3. Links to Oral Cancer
There are no definitive answers with the debate whether or not alcohol-containing mouthwashes lead to oral cancer. However, it has been a hot topic since that 1970s, which is more than enough to put off many people all over the globe. Additionally, some mouthwash contains harmful chemicals that are toxic when accidentally swallowed, which is why children ages twelve and below should be under adult supervision when using mouthwash.
If you’re looking for a local dentist to help you with your oral hygiene, get in touch with us today for a free consultation!