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Mouthwash Breakdown: What Type is Best for You?


It may seem like all mouthwashes are pretty much the same, but there are distinct differences among the various types available. Dentists recommend therapeutic mouthwashes that contain active ingredients to keep your mouth healthy. How do you know what therapeutic mouthwash is right for you? Read on to learn what active ingredient best meets your dental needs.

Best for Plaque Removal
Plaque is bacteria that builds up on the teeth. Brushing and flossing help to remove most plaque from the teeth, but mouthwash can also be used to prevent further build-up. Mouthwashes with cetylpyridinium chloride have strong anti-bacterial properties that help keep plaque at bay. This active ingredient also helps to kill bacteria that causes bad breath.

Best to Prevent Tooth Decay
When plaque builds up, it produces acid which can weaken the enamel of your teeth. Mouthwashes that contain fluoride protect your teeth’s enamel. This makes them stronger and less likely to decay over time.

Best for Gum Health
If gingivitis and gum disease are a concern, your dentist may recommend a mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine. Available by prescription only, this antibacterial agent helps to reduce gum inflammation, swelling, and bleeding.

Best for Whitening
Over time, teeth can be discolored due to food and drink, smoking, and the unavoidable process of aging. Tooth-whitening mouthwashes are available to help keep your pearly whites bright. Look for mouthwashes that contain hydrogen peroxide which has a whitening effect on teeth.

Best for Sensitive Mouths
For some people, mouthwash causes a burning sensation in the mouth and on the gums. These individuals should seek out alcohol-free mouthwash. If you have sensitive teeth, choose a mouthwash that includes stannous fluoride or dipotassium oxalate monohydrate, both of which protect against tooth sensitivity.

All mouthwashes work best when they are used regularly and in the right manner. Mouthwash should be used no more than two times a day. The correct amount should be poured into a cup, swished in the mouth for 30 seconds, and then spit out. You should avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after using mouthwash.

Have questions about mouthwash or other dental hygiene topics? No question is too small for Vacendak Dentistry; we’re here for all of your dental needs. Call us today at (757) 609-3510 or contact us online to schedule your next appointment.