Do I Need Mouthwash?


Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist for regular dental cleanings are the most essential things you can do to protect your oral health. There is, however, also mouthwash available for use, and most households have a bottle in the medicine cabinet or under the sink. But do you know when or why you might actually need to use mouthwash?

Do You Need Mouthwash? 5 Reasons Why You Might Use a Mouth Rinse

1. To Remove Food Particles and Debris
Mouthwash is designed to help remove food debris from your mouth in places that are hard to reach which makes it a great way to clean your mouth in a pinch (i.e. when you don’t have access to a toothbrush or it’s too soon after eating to actually brush your teeth safely).

2. To Help Prevent or Manage Periodontal Disease
Patients with gingivitis (early stage periodontal disease) or more advanced gum disease are often prescribed antibacterial mouthwash. These patients’ gums have moved slightly away from the surfaces of the teeth, creating deeper pockets between the teeth and gums. Mouthwash can help mitigate bacterial growth and sterilize the mouth inside these pockets where a toothbrush can’t quite reach.


3. To Help Prevent Cavities
Certain mouthwashes also contain fluoride which can help to remineralize the teeth, strengthen the tooth enamel, and prevent tooth decay and cavities from forming.

4. For Fresher Breath
Since mouthwashes help to combat bacterial growth, it also combats bad breath because the bacteria in your mouth also affect the way your breath smells.

5. For Whiter Teeth
Certain mouth rinse formulas also sometimes contain whitening agents like peroxide to help dissolve stains and discoloration to maintain a brighter and whiter smile.

Oral Hygiene Guidance and Prescription Mouth Rinses in La Mesa

At Cardinal Dental in La Mesa, our dentist might recommend mouthwash to patients for a variety of reasons. With over-the-counter products, it’s important to choose an alcohol-free variety and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use (typically, rinsing once or twice a day for 30 to 60 seconds and not rinsing with water after). If we prescribe you mouthwash, then you should follow the use instructions on your prescription.

To learn more about mouthwash and your daily oral hygiene routine, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Michels at Cardinal Dental today.