Mouth rinses tend to fall into three different categories. They can be cosmetic, therapeutic or natural or herbal rinses. So which is best?
- Cosmetic mouth rinses will temporarily mask bad breath and may help to get rid of some bacteria. Some contain whiteners to help remove some surface stains, but the effects are quite limited. A cosmetic mouth rinse will not help improve your oral health but might be nice to use if you have had a meal with lots of onions or garlic, or other highly flavoured foods.
- Therapeutic mouth rinses contain active ingredients to help reduce your risk of tooth decay which may include fluoride. These can be useful if you have a high risk of tooth decay or if you are currently undergoing orthodontics or wear another type of dental appliance that could increase your risk of cavities. Some mouth rinses will help reduce plaque and tartar and will contain a substance called chlorhexidine. These tend to be for short term use and are often on prescription. Antibacterial and antimicrobial mouthwashes will help reduce bacteria that could cause gum disease. Therapeutic mouthwashes can be very useful for providing additional protection and they will help to temporarily freshen up your breath.
- If you prefer to use natural products then there are plenty on the market. These do not have any harsh chemicals or alcohol, or any preservatives. They usually contain herbs known to have beneficial properties.
If you would like more personalised advice on choosing a mouth rinse, then please ask us next time you visit Integrated Dental Care. Whichever mouth rinse you choose, opt for one that does not contain alcohol and please bear in mind that a mouth rinse can never replace regular brushing and flossing, but it can make a nice addition to your daily oral hygiene routine.