Should You Be Using Mouthwash?

Should You Be Using Mouthwash (1)

Mouthwash is a popular product that is used to clean teeth and gums. It comes in many different flavors, and there are many brands available on the market. But does mouthwash actually help improve oral health? Or is it just a waste of money? In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of using mouthwash and whether it can help keep your teeth and gums healthy!

What is Mouthwash?

Mouthwash is a product that is used to clean teeth and gums. It comes in many different flavors and colors, and there are many brands available on the market. Mouthwash can help improve oral health when it is swished around inside the mouth for 30 seconds to a minute. However, there is more to mouthwash than you may think.

mouthwash bottles

First of all, the various mouthwash bottles can all be broken down into one of two groups: cosmetic or therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwash does not have any therapeutic benefits; it is only meant to remove debris and mask odors. On the other hand, therapeutic mouthwash actually has health benefits for oral care. It can help fight plaque buildup, bad breath, and cavities. As such, therapeutic mouthwashes usually contain different ingredients such as:

  • Cetylpyridinium chloride: reduces bad breath
  • Chlorhexidine: controls plaque and gingivitis (prescription only)
  • Essential oils (eucalyptol, menthol, thymol, methyl salicylate): controls plaque and gingivitis
  • Fluoride: strengthens tooth enamel to prevent decay
  • Peroxide: used as a whitening agent in whitening mouthwashes

The Benefits of Mouthwash

1. Kills bacteria – Mouthwash can kill bacteria that cause plaque and bad breath.

2. Removes plaque – Mouthwash can help remove plaque from teeth and gums, which can help prevent gum disease.

3. Freshens breath – Mouthwash can help freshen breath and remove any bad odors.

4. Easy to use – Mouthwash is easy to use, just swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds to a minute.

Do You Need Mouthwash?

So, should you be using mouthwash? Mouthwash can help improve oral health by killing bacteria, removing plaque, and freshening breath. Because of these benefits, your dentist may recommend using mouthwash, especially if you are experiencing any of the following:

woman using mouthwash
  • Dry Mouth – If you experience dry mouth, your mouth does not produce enough saliva. Over time, dry mouth can allow more bacteria to accumulate which can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Using a moisturizing mouthwash with animal mucins, cellulose derivatives, and enzymes that mimic natural saliva can help relieve the symptoms and keep your mouth healthy.
  • Gum Disease – Gum disease is a common problem that can occur when plaque and bacteria are not removed from teeth and gums. Using a therapeutic mouthwash containing chlorhexidine or essential oils can help control plaque and gingivitis by killing excess bacteria. This helps to prevent the progression of gum disease.
  • Cavities – Cavities are caused by bacteria that produce acid when they digest sugar. The acid dissolves the enamel of teeth, which can lead to tooth decay. Using a mouthwash with fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities from forming.
  • Teeth Stains – Teeth can become stained from food, drinks, and tobacco use. While existing stains may need to be removed with a professional whitening treatment, using a whitening mouthwash with peroxide can help lighten teeth stains and prevent new stains from forming.

If you are experiencing any of the above problems, your dentist may recommend using a therapeutic mouthwash to help improve oral health. However, if you do not have any oral health problems, you can still benefit from using mouthwash. However, you will still need to continue to practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. Mouthwash is a great addition to an oral care routine, but it is not a replacement for regular brushing and flossing.


Fredrick Farahi, DDS, PC - SmileMclean Dentistry

Fredrick Farahi, DDS, PC

Dr. Fredrick Farahi, a native of Northern Virginia, received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Howard University in Washington D.C. in 1990. Since then, Dr. Farahi’s continuing education has ventured him toward more challenging areas of Dentistry, including Cosmetic Dentistry, Reconstructive Dentistry, and Implant Dentistry. Dr. Farahi is passionate about keeping up with the latest advances in dentistry.