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Is Mouthwash Good for Teeth?

HomeOral HealthIs Mouthwash Good for Teeth?

two bottles of mouthwash

You know brushing is crucial. And flossing is important. But what about mouthwash? There’s a debate in the dental world about whether or not mouthwash is actually good for dental health. On one side are those who believe it’s another helpful tool in fighting gum disease and cavities. On the other side are those who worry that mouthwash harms your oral microbiome by knocking out good bacteria along with the bad. Here’s what you need to know:

Effect of Mouthwash

Mouthwash has been shown to reduce cavities and fight gum disease. And you’ve probably seen it yourself that swishing the rinse around picked up some debris that was missed in your brushing and flossing. That being said, choosing a mouthwash with alcohol can end up drying out your mouth and one with an ultra-strong antibacterial or antiseptic agent like chlorhexidine can pose potential risks by eliminating the good bacteria in your mouth too, which is important for building immunity. If you’re concerned about these possible effects, then go for a mild or natural mouthwash.

ADA Seal of Acceptance

Another way to err on the safe side is to choose a mouthwash product that has an ADA Seal of Acceptance. This little sign means that the American Dental Association has verified the safety and efficacy of the product based on evidence the mouthwash manufacturers have provided. This evidence includes clinical studies and statistics that show what they claim the mouthwash can do like reducing decay or controlling gingivitis is in fact true.

No Substitute

While you find people arguing both sides of the mouthwash debate, everyone agrees that mouthwash should not be used as a substitute for brushing your teeth. If you decide to rinse with mouthwash, you should do so in addition to your normal brushing and flossing routine to really make sure that you’re keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

Contact Us for Mouthwash Recommendations

If you’re still feeling a little stuck about whether you should use mouthwash or not, we recommend seeing a dental professional to get their professional advice. The answer you receive may depend on your personal oral health. The Edgewater Dental Arts team is happy to guide you through and offer our recommendations. Just contact our practice through email or by phone and we can answer your questions.

Dr. John Cutting

Written by

John Cutting, DMD is an Annapolis dentist experienced in all aspects of dentistry. He provides complete care from general dentistry to cosmetic and restorative dentistry in his conveniently located and comfortable office, Edgewater Dental Arts.