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Brushing and flossing are the foundations of excellent oral health. For some people, mouthwash may be an excellent addition to a solid oral hygiene routine.


Mouthwash, also called mouth rinse, operates in a number of ways. All mouthwash serves to wash away food particles and debris from the teeth. In this sense, it operates as an assistant to flossing or another interdental cleaning. Not all mouthwashes, however, are created equal.


There are two kinds of mouthwashes: therapeutic and cosmetic. Cosmetic mouthwash may freshen breath temporarily, but it does little else. Therapeutic mouthwash, on the other hand, can be formulated to do many things. It contains active ingredients that help kill cavity-causing bacteria, fight plaque, and prevent gum disease.


There are mouthwashes designed for specific tasks, such as adding fluoride, killing bacteria, or freshening breath. Some are designed to loosen plaque before brushing. Always read labels carefully, and ask your dentist about your specific health needs. Look for products that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This seal provides assurance that the product does what it claims to do, as the American Dental Association requires rigorous testing before granting the seal.


Do not give mouthwash to children under 6 years old, and be careful when using it. Many types of mouthwash contain large amounts of alcohol. Consuming this can lead to nausea, vomiting, or intoxication and should be avoided. If you need to totally avoid alcohol for any reason, talk to your dentist or look for ADA approved non-alcoholic mouthwash.


For more information on if mouthwash is right for you, call West End Orthodontics at 804-364-8366! And if you live in the Glen Allen, Virginia area, be sure to schedule a dentist appointment! Regular dental appointments are a vital part of complete oral hygiene routines. Dr. Frank Iuorno will be happy to see you!