Mouthwash: when is it recommended?

Mouthwash is a great complement when it comes to taking care of dental health. It is a liquid product which It is used to rinse teeth, gums and mucous membranes in the mouth.

These rustles do not replace the use of brushing and flossing, but rather complement oral hygiene. Here we tell you what is the correct way to use them to be effective.

You should know that there are different types of mouthwashes with particular ingredients making them ideal for use in a variety of situations. Read on and find out which mouthwash is right for you.

What is a Mouthwash?

As we have already anticipated, a mouthwash is a liquid retained in the mouth to rinse the oral structures or gargle. It is a complement to oral hygiene that helps take care of oral health.

In general, a mouthwash helps eliminate germs from the mouth, controls plaque bacteria, and leaves fresh breath. But depending on their active ingredients, they can provide other specific benefits, such as the prevention of tooth decay or the treatment of gingivitis.

It is important to consider this mouthwash is a complement to toothbrushing and flossing. It does not replace any of these procedures; on the contrary, it strengthens them to achieve much more complete and effective oral hygiene.

Being a liquid solution, its permanence and movement in the mouth allows it to reach areas where the bristles of the toothbrush cannot reach. In this way, completing dental hygiene with a mouthwash reduces bacterial plaque and prevents many common diseases of the oral cavity.

Types of mouthwashes and their uses

We have already told you that most mouthwashes They help reduce bacteria in the mouth and thus prevent many of the diseases caused by germs. In any case, you should know that there are a wide variety of mouthwashes to use in specific situations.

Most are over-the-counter and can be found in both pharmacies and supermarkets. But with so much variety available, choosing the right one can become a tough job.

When you’re looking for your mouthwash, Ideally, consult your dentist to recommend a product based on the state and needs of your mouth. In any case, knowing the different types of mouthwashes will help you understand the characteristics of these products more clearly. Next, we detail its uses and benefits.

Mouthwashes cannot be used on their own. They are complements to brushing and flossing.

Use regular rinses

It is the simplest mouthwash on the market. It consists of a liquid with active ingredients similar to those of toothpastes helps remove food debris and bacteria from the mouth.

It also provides fresh breath and a slight protection against tooth decay, so it can be of great help if you have bad breath. They come in different flavors and may contain alcohol.

Antiseptic or anti-plaque rinses

This type of mouthwash It has specific ingredients that help control and reduce bacterial plaque in the mouth. They generally contain chlorhexidine digluconate, although they can be combined with other active ingredients, such as povidone-iodine, phenols, metal salts or essential oils.

They are very useful for the treatment of gingivitis and periodontal diseases. Additionally, they are recommended for use after oral surgery or implant placement to promote healing and reduce the risk of infection. An antiseptic mouthwash may also work to speed healing and reduce the pain of canker sores and canker sores.

Its use should be limited to cases where the dentist deems its prescription appropriate. Well, the active ingredients they have can be harmful if used for a long time or excessively. Therefore, a professional should indicate the correct way to use them.

Fluoride mouthwashes

Fluoride mouthwash it has the particularity of providing extra protection to the dental enamel against the action of acids produced by bacteria in the mouth. This is very helpful in preventing tooth decay and even reversing the initial stages of the disease.

This type of mouthwash can be used both in adults and in children at high risk of caries, although it is not recommended for use before 6 years of age. In any case, the dentist should indicate this type of product, specifying the time and frequency of use.

mouthwashes for dry mouth

When you suffer from xerostomia or dry mouth there is an increased risk of oral infections and of developing more plaque bacteria, because saliva does not perform its function. For this reason, the ideal is a mouthwash that lubricates the mouth, refreshes it and prevents disease. Typically those containing minerals, fluoride and vitamin E are used.

Other uses

There are mouthwashes for specific purposes that help improve the particular situation of the mouth of some patients:

  • For people with orthodontics: are mouthwashes designed to add protection and improve hygiene for patients wearing braces.
  • For dentures: They are non-alcoholic mouthwashes that strengthen the gums and mucous membranes of patients wearing prostheses.
  • Before periodontal surgery: the dentist may indicate rustles with hexetidine or chlorhexidine before performing periodontal surgery. The antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic actions of these products prevent complications.
  • Strengthening of teeth whitening: After performing a tooth whitening, the dentist may indicate a whitening mouthwash from time to time Jack and prolong the results.

Mouthwash ingredients

The specific function of each mouthwash depends to a large extent on its components. Many times, ingredients are combined to enhance the action of the product.

It is essential to read the labels in order to choose the rinse that best suits your needs. Below we mention some of the ingredients which contain the mouthwashes that we find on the market:

  • fluorides: fluoride provides protection against tooth decay.
  • chlorhexidine: It is an antiseptic with anti-plaque and antibacterial action, indicated for oral surgery or as a treatment for gum disease. It should be used under the direction of the dentist, as its prolonged use stains teeth and gums and alters taste.
  • Hexetidine: It has antiseptic and antifungal action and accelerates the healing process of the mucous membranes. In combination with zinc salts, its anti-plaque action is greater. It also stains teeth and soft tissue, so should be used as directed by your dentist.
  • povidone iodine: bactericidal and fungicidal which is used to prevent the progression of gingivitis and periodontitis.
  • Essential oils: The combination of natural oils allows the elimination of bacterial plaque and the reduction of gingival inflammation.
  • phenols: They have antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory action. Triclosan is one of the most effective, but its use is limited to cases where the professional deems it necessary and appropriate. Well, it is considered a substance that could have adverse health effects.
  • metallic salts: a high concentration of these elements is necessary for them to have an antibacterial action. They can have a certain toxicity and impart an unpleasant taste to the product.
  • Natural products: While they don’t have much scientific backing, some people prefer to make mouthwashes based on plant extracts. The most used are Aloe Verachamomile, leech and propolis.
  • Whitening agents: They are used to strengthen and maintain the effects obtained with a teeth whitening treatment.
The young man uses mouthwash.
Some mouthwashes contain alcohol. It is important to know before buying and using them.

Mouthwashes with or without alcohol?

In the market you can find mouthwashes that contain alcohol and others that do not. In addition to reading it in the ingredients, the patient can recognize the presence of the substance by the slight burning sensation they leave in the mouth.

Many rinses contain alcohol because, in addition to being an antiseptic, it allows the dilution of its components. For this reason it is important to avoid ingesting these products.

Yes, OK the amount of alcohol contained in mouthwashes is very low, its drying action can reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth. For this reason, patients suffering from dry mouth, xerostomia and other oral irritations should avoid products containing this substance.

It is also advisable to choose a non-alcoholic mouthwash if it will be used by several members of the family; especially if the household includes children, adolescents or pregnant women. Even recovering alcoholics should avoid using these products to prevent relapse.

How to use mouthwash correctly

The way to use a mouthwash can vary according to the type of product and the ideal is to read the instructions on the package. In any case, in general, the following steps should be followed:

  1. Brushing and flossing your teeth: It is recommended to perform adequate oral hygiene before rinsing. Although the indications of the product or the dentist may propose to do it later.
  2. Pour the mouthwash into the measuring cup: The product usually comes with a measuring container to place it. It is important to respect the amount indicated in the instructions or by the dentist. Generally, it’s about 4 teaspoons or 20 milliliters.
  3. Bring the product to the mouth and shake: The product must be vigorously shaken inside a closed mouth for 30 seconds, trying to reach all its surfaces. It must not be ingested. Counting in your mind or using a clock can help.
  4. Spit: all the solution is disposed of in the sink. In the event that the mouthwash is used by a child, it is essential to check this step to prevent him from ingesting the product.
  5. Wait: Avoid rinsing, eating, drinking or smoking for at least 30 minutes to reap the benefits of mouthwash.

It is important not to dilute the product with water unless indicated on the label. Otherwise, you won’t get the full benefits of rinsing.

Mouthwash is a beneficial practice

Mouthwash can be used as part of your daily oral hygiene routine, or as directed by your dentist for a specific problem. They are not always needed and the ideal is consult the specialist to choose the right one and use them correctly.

Strengthening the enamel, protecting teeth from caries and reducing bacterial plaque are some of the benefits offered by the use of these products. They are also useful for improving bad breath and for preventing and treating gingivitis and periodontitis.

Regardless of the goal pursued, it is essential to remember that all These results are achieved if the rinse is used conscientiously and responsibly. At no point should you stop brushing your teeth or give up flossing.

On the contrary, the rustles complete the usual oral cleaning manoeuvres. Having mouthwash as a complement to your routine is sure to bring comfort and health to your mouth.

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