Mouthwash — Do You Really Need It?

The answer is — YES! A resounding YES. If you want to keep a healthy, youthful, and happy smile. :)

So what’s the deal with mouthwash?

Mouthwash is essential to the overall day-to-day oral care routine because it works in conjunction with the rest of the steps in your routine to fight the accumulation of bacteria harboring plaque.

To familiarize you with the basic steps of a healthy oral care routine, they are as follows:

  • Flossing: Cleaning between the teeth with floss. To learn about the different types of flossing options available out there, check out our Medium article Master The Skills of Flossing for a Stunning Smile — Forever Young
  • Brushing your teeth morning and night with a soft toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line. When brushing your teeth, tilt your toothbrush at 45-degree angle towards the gum line, then, move the toothbrush in a circular motion as you brush. For tips on cleaning your tongue check out 5 Tips For Using a Tongue Cleaner to Ensure a Healthy Mouth — Forever Young
  • Rinsing: using an antiseptic rinse 2x daily. Rinsing helps flush out the plaque that brushing and flossing may have left behind, and helps protect your gums from bacteria.

The above routine will ensure your oral health routine is top notch. But back to the necessity of rinsing —

  • When you brush you clean out the major food debris and surface plaque.
  • When you floss, the rough surface of the floss helps to remove remaining plaque from in between your teeth by agitating it, however, some plaque is going to remain along with the germs it harbors because the floss thread alone is not enough to carry the plaque out of the crevices of the teeth. However, by flossing in between every set of teeth, you will have agitated the plaque and dislodged it, prepping it to be washed away by the mouth wash

So as you can see, mouthwash is an essential part of a healthy day-to-day oral care routine. Leaving plaque on the teeth causes decay as bacteria that live in the plaque contribute to enamel erosion and cavities over time.

As for which mouthwash to chose, this is best decided for your specific situation by you and your dentist or hygienist. However, most people should at the very least include an alcohol-free antiseptic mouthwash in their day-today oral care routine. There are alcohol-free mouthwash options widely available from brands such as Colgate, Oral-B, and Listerine, as well as plenty of other alternative and botanical brands. You can work with your hygienist to pick one that works best for your individual needs.

Depending on your current oral hygiene habits your dentist or hygienist may prescribe additional or alternatives rinses or topical aides including ones with fluoride such as Listerine Total-Care or ACT Mouthwash.

The bottom line is, you should have an alcohol-free antiseptic mouthwash as a part of your daily oral care routine, and work with your dentist or hygienist to see if alternate or additional options are needed for your specific situation.