Closeup on young woman brushing teeth

Why Should I Use Mouthwash?

If you want your mouth as clean as possible, simply brushing on its own isn’t enough. Mouthwash makes a mouth feel and smell fresh, and has additional benefits for keeping teeth clean and healthy. If you’ve ever wondered why you should use rinse your teeth with something stronger than water, here are some reasons:

  • Freshens breath – Bad breath can often be attributed to germs that live on the tongue and emit foul odours. Mouthwash kills these germs and removes bad breath at the source. Different flavours (like cinnamon or mint) replace the offensive smells. Mouthwash is also useful after you’ve eaten foods with a strong scent (e.g. onions, seafood, garlic).
  • Cleans teeth – A toothbrush, for the most part, only cleans surfaces that can be reached by its head. Mouthwash flows around the mouth to rinse these hard-to-reach spaces. Mouthwash also removes food particles, especially if you rinse before brushing. Rinsing loosens the bits of food, making them easier to brush away, and prevents plaque buildup.
  • Prevents cavities – Bacteria in the mouth releases acid that wears away enamel, causing tooth decay. Antibacterial mouthwash kills these germs before they can adhere to the teeth. Some mouthwashes also contain fluoride, which strengthens the enamel, protecting teeth from damage. Not all mouthwashes contain fluoride; check the label before purchasing.
  • Cleans gums – Bacteria can also infect the gums. Acids cause inflammation, opening the door to problems like periodontal disease. Brushing can remove some, but not all germs. Mouthwash lowers the risk of infection by killing additional bacteria.
  • Safeguards pregnancy – Pregnant women who develop periodontal disease are at risk for complications (like premature labour). When germs enter a mother’s bloodstream, they can stimulate contractions. If you’re concerned about alcohol content in your mouthwash, consult your dentist for a recommendation.
  • Whitens teeth – Food left on teeth can cause stains and discolouration. When mouthwash removes food particles, it keeps food particles from discolouring the teeth, especially when you eat or drink staining foods and beverages (like berries and coffee).

Mouthwash is no substitute for regular brushing and flossing, but it has additional benefits for keeping teeth clean and healthy. Brushing and flossing can’t reach all the places in your mouth where plaque builds up. To keep teeth sparkling and in good shape, use mouthwash and get twice-yearly professional cleanings from your dentist.

For attentive dental care, contact Lambton Family Dental in Sarnia, ON. We help protect the health of patients of all ages with regular checkups. Ask us about Invisalign for tooth straightening, root canal, and implants to replace lost teeth. Call (519) 344-5747 to make an appointment.