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Mouthwash can be an important tool in your dental care. But with shelves of different brands and varieties available, it can be hard to know what to buy. These tips can help guide your purchase so you'll make the best possible choice:
Look for the ADA's seal
You'll want to see the American Dental Association's seal on your mouthwash label. This designation means that the product has been evaluated by the ADA and has been deemed safe and effective. It tells you that the mouthwash's ingredients have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The seal also means that any claims made on the package or in ads for the product are backed up scientifically.
Unlike some designations from other industries, this seal can't be bought.
Consider one with no alcohol
Alcohol is an ingredient in many mouthwashes, but it can irritate your gums if they're sensitive. It can also make mouth sores more painful, so if you're particularly prone to getting them, avoid alcohol.
It can help kill germs, but it can also cause your mouth to become excessively dry. Saliva cleans your mouth, so if you don't have enough of it, you might be at greater risk for gum disease and tooth decay.
Fluoride is a plus
This mineral helps prevent tooth decay and can actually reverse some decay that's in its early stages. It's especially important to use a mouthwash with fluoride if your municipal water source doesn't add it to your water supply. If you have a dry mouth, are prone to cavities or find it difficult to floss well, you'll probably also benefit from additional fluoride.
Don't mask a larger problem
Mouthwash may temporarily mask bad breath, leading you to think you've solved the problem. But you may be covering up a larger dental issue. For example, your bad breath could be caused by gum disease, which should be addressed and treated by your dentist.
A prescription may be needed
Depending on your particular dental needs, your dentist may give a prescription for mouthwash. It can have ingredients that aren't in regular over-the-counter mouthwash, or it may have the same ingredient in a stronger concentration. For example, a prescription rinse containing chlorhexidine is a very effective way to fight plaque. It's designed to use for short periods of time because it can stain your teeth.
Ultimately, what you do and don't need in a mouthwash is determined by your particular dental and overall health needs. Your dentist can best advise you on what to look for in a mouthwash and if you should use an over-the-counter product or a prescription one.
For more information, contact Pike Lake Dental Center or a similar location.Share