Ads in magazines, commercials on TVs, and even dental pamphlets promote the benefits of using mouthwash. However, you have never used mouthwash and are left asking the question, “Is mouthwash necessary?” The answer is both, “No” and “Yes.”
Nothing can take the place of brushing and flossing your teeth. Floss, especially, was designed to remove plaque that builds up on the teeth and gum line. Plaque is made up of millions of acid-producing bacteria that eat away at the enamel of the teeth. Brushing the teeth at least twice a day helps to brush away plaque that builds up on the surfaces of the teeth, keeping them as clean and fresh as possible. However, for those who are not avid flossers and who occasionally skip out on brushing their teeth, they can reap the benefits of using a mouthwash.
Mouthwash does two things very well: it prevents cavities and it lowers the risk of oral disease. Periodontal disease is an extremely dangerous oral health issue that can wreak havoc on your mouth and overall health. Periodontal disease is a severe infection of the gum tissue, and because the gum tissues are living, they can easily pass infection through the blood stream to other parts of the body. In fact, periodontal disease has been directly linked to many cases of diabetes, kidney failure, and heart disease. Mouthwash can prevent these serious effects from occurring.
Mouthwash is also highly beneficial to pregnant women. Due to the high fluctuation of hormones in a relatively short span of time, pregnant women’s gums are highly susceptible to gum disease. Gum disease in pregnant women has been linked to miscarriage, pre-term labor, and low birth weight babies. Pregnancy is often a time when a dentist will encourage a woman to use mouthwash throughout her entire pregnancy to lower their risk of pregnancy complications related to oral health issues.
When choosing a mouthwash, it is always necessary to choose one that has the American Dental Association’s seal of approval. This seal lets you know that the mouthwash you are using will, in fact, prevent cavities, lower your risk for gum disease, and promote optimal oral health.
Remember, mouthwash should never replace brushing and flossing. However, mouthwash can benefit your mouth. Mouthwash is not a “necessary component” to your oral health, but adding it to a regular habit of flossing and brushing can promote optimal oral health.