Advantages of using a mouthwash
- Using a mouthwash easily goes to places between your teeth and gums and can help remove food particles and plague that was left behind after flossing.
- It can be used to kill bad odor or simply to get rid of bad taste in your mouth. Using a mouthwash is a great way to freshen up your breath and gain confidence before you meet people.
- A good mouthwash helps in keeping gingivitis (a disease that comes with swelling, inflammation and bleeding of the gums), tooth decay and oral infections away.
- A mouthwash may be recommended to treat infection, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, reduce halitosis or to deliver fluoride locally for caries prevention says Dr. Shingore
Drawbacks of using a Mouthwash
- Most mouthwash contain high amount of alcohol content which can cause dry mouth which further leads to bad breath.
- In some individuals alcohol from the mouth wash causes sensitivity to the root surface of the teeth.
- There have also been studies that suggest a link between alcohol containing mouth wash and oral cancer. Dr Shingore says, “Ethanol is used in mouthwashes as a solvent, preservative and antiseptic. There is increasing evidence that there may be a direct relationship between the alcohol content of mouthwashes and the development of oral cancer.”
- Mouthwash is meant only for rinsing the mouth; it may cause problems even if accidentally swallowed. Dr Shingore says, “Mouthwashes are meant to be spit out and not swallowed, because even natural mouthwash products may contain ingredients that could be poisonous if ingested in large amounts. If a small amount of mouthwash is accidentally swallowed, there is no need to panic but care should be taken to avoid it.
- Generally, mouthwashes are not recommended in children who are incapable of spitting and rinsing – skills that occur around the age of 6. Once the motor skills in children are developed the use of fluoride containing mouthwashes which acts as anti cavities is acceptable says Dr Shingore.
Mouthwash good or bad- Verdict
Mouthwashes should not be used as a substitute for regular brushing and flossing. Taking into consideration the adverse effects of long term use of various mouthwashes it is advisable to use mouthwashes as a short term treatment for halitosis (bad breath).
Though a variety of mouth washes are easily available without a prescription, it is suggested that you should consult your dentist to identify the right mouthwash for your needs.