After brushing your teeth for at least one minute and flossing vigorously between every tooth, it can feel redundant to make mouthwash a regular part of your oral hygiene routine as well. Haven’t you fought that plague enough already? But using mouthwash every day does have some significant benefits to your oral health – although it definitely does not offer a solution to chronic bad breath!
Fluoride-Containing Mouthwash Can Prevent Cavities
Study after study has consistently shown that using fluoride every day can significantly reduce your chances of developing cavities. Even if you consume very little in the way of added sugar, the natural sugars in fruits, juices, and even many vegetables (think sweet potatoes and carrots) can contribute to your likelihood of getting cavities. In addition to brushing and flossing, using mouthwash is critical to protecting your teeth from cavity-causing decay.
Mouthwash Protects From Gum Disease
Plaque buildup on your teeth is the number one cause of periodontal, or gum, disease. Food particles can get stuck right in your gum line, forming plaque, and if these minute particles are not removed, they become a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria. These bacteria cause your gums to become inflamed and your gums may start receding and developing pockets between your teeth that will invite even more plaque buildup. Mouthwash helps remove food particles that your toothbrush and dental floss can’t reach, and breaks down the plaque that has already formed.
Soothe Sores with the Right Mouthwash
Whether you suffer from painful canker sores or are just a compulsive cheek-chewer, a low-alcohol mouthwash can soothe sores in your mouth. It works by flushing away the bacteria that are aggravating the sore, so mouthwash can actually even help sores heal faster. Just make sure to ask Dr. Liggett which mouthwash is the best for sores – mouthwash with too much alcohol in it will probably make your sores feel worse, even if they do aid in healing.
Choose Hydrogen Peroxide to Whiten Teeth as Well
In addition to the benefits that regular mouthwash can provide, using hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash can help to whiten your teeth over time. Simply dilute a capful with water by 50%, swish for about a minute, and spit. You may even be able to fight early stages of gum disease with hydrogen peroxide. Talk to Dr. Liggett to determine what type of mouthwash and level of treatment is best for you.