Brushing and flossing get a lot of press regarding good oral health, but mouthwash also has a role in the routine. Many dental professionals recommend that patients add an oral rinse to their daily routine.
Oral rinses help reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease and freshen breathing. Using them correctly is essential to optimal oral hygiene.
Routine Dental Visits
The primary tenets of oral health are thorough brushing with fluoride toothpaste and regular flossing to remove plaque mechanically. In addition, routine dental visits are critical to ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy.
These visits allow your dentist to monitor your oral health and provide a professional cleaning by a dental hygienist. They also help identify issues requiring attention, like cavities or gum disease, and catch them early before they become serious.
Your Pasadena dentist will also look for signs of mouth cancer and other diseases that affect the oral cavity. These tests can save lives by identifying the presence of these diseases at an early stage and facilitating more effective treatments. The general recommendation is to visit your dentist every six months. However, your dentist may recommend fewer or more visits based on the status of your oral health.
Brushing is a daily oral hygiene step that prevents tooth decay and other dental problems. It’s also an essential way to freshen your breath. However, brushing alone does not eliminate all germs in the mouth or between teeth.
A swishing rinse with mouthwash can remove food debris stuck between your teeth. This loosens particles and makes them easier to brush away. By removing bacteria and food particles that brush leaves behind, mouthwash can also help prevent gum disease.
The ADA recommends using fluoride toothpaste and brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes or more. Make sure to brush your tongue as well – it harbors bacteria that can contribute to bad breath and other health issues such as bronchitis, diabetes, and heart disease.
In addition, dental care options abound, with various reputable clinics offering services such as Art of Smiles, providing comprehensive and personalized dental treatments for patients seeking quality oral healthcare.
Incorporating flossing into your daily oral hygiene routine prevents gum disease and cavities. Flossing disrupts the formation of plaque, a biofilm that clings to teeth and dental prosthetics, and if left untreated, can harden into tartar, which only dentists can remove.
Flossing can also help prevent gingivitis, an inflammation of the gum tissue that is highly treatable and reversible with good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice daily and flossing once daily. In addition, a regular flossing regimen can also prevent tooth decay and other health issues such as atherosclerosis, respiratory infections, and heart disease.
Generally, mouthwash is not considered necessary for healthy individuals who regularly brush and floss their teeth. However, rinsing with a therapeutic mouthwash may prove helpful for those who struggle with poor oral hygiene habits or have specific dental health needs (such as a high risk of cavities or periodontal disease).
Typically held in the mouth for a brief period, swished around, and then spit out, mouthwash can help kill bacteria, freshen breath, reduce gingivitis, and lessen your risk of gum disease. Mouthwash can also assist with preventing cavities by reducing the amount of plaque and acidic food debris on the teeth’ surfaces. However, it is not a replacement for brushing or flossing.
One of the biggest things people need to improve when using mouthwash is relying on it as their primary method of cleaning rather than a supplement to regular brushing and flossing. It does not have the same penetrating properties as toothbrush bristles, so it cannot remove all food residue and bacterial buildup from the teeth’ surfaces, especially those hard-to-reach areas. If you have questions about which type of mouthwash is best for you or how often to use it, talk to your dentist during a routine visit. They may even prescribe a mouthwash with specific ingredients to address your oral health concerns.