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Is Mouthwash Damaging My Teeth

Have you ever wondered if the mouthwash you use to freshen your breath is actually doing any harm? It’s a valid question and one that has been asked by dental professionals and consumers alike. There are some dos and don’ts when it comes to mouth rinsing, so let’s dive in!

First off, a quick reminder: nothing beats good ol’ brushing and flossing for keeping your teeth healthy. That being said, mouthwash can be an effective tool for helping reduce plaque, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), and bad breath. But depending on the type of rinse you choose, using it too frequently or in excessive amounts can have damaging effects on your oral health.

Dos and Don’ts of Mouth Rinsing

I’ve been seen on Youtube trends that are saying mouthwash gives you cavities, especially if you use mouthwash after you brush your teeth. So I’m here to address this mess. The reason why some dental professionals are saying this is simply because yes, leaving the toothpaste on your teeth is the best thing you can do after brushing your teeth to help prevent cavities. You technically shouldn’t even rinse with water after brushing your teeth. The goal is to leave the toothpaste on there because if you’re using a toothpaste with an anticavity ingredient in it, then you’re allowing that ingredient to sit on your teeth and do its job instead of rinsing away all the benefits with water or mouthwash.

However, it’s not to say that rinsing with mouthwash after brushing will give you cavities. That’s a bit extreme. Is there more fluoride and fluoride toothpaste than in a fluoride mouthwash most of the time yes, but not all of the time. Regardless, I understand the thought process behind this and some people wanting to inform you that it’s better to leave the toothpaste on their teeth in comparison to the mouthwash. But it’s not to say that using an anticavity fluoride mouthwash after brushing is bad. It’s just not as good.

What if you’re not using an anticavity fluoride mouthwash?

Here’s where an antiseptic mouthwash comes in. And it’s important to understand the differences between these two for this to all make sense. Antiseptic mouthwash is often do not contain fluoride, like the anticavity mouthwashes do, antiseptics are made to help your gums and focus on your changeable health not to prevent tooth decay and cavities. And the even more interesting fact and where this whole people’s thing probably started is because some antiseptic mouthwashes are actually slightly acidic when you test their pH levels. Which is weird, right? Because technically, an acidic mouth can make you more cavity-prone. You want a neutral mouth to prevent cavities.

So sure, maybe it’s not the best idea to rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing. If you like using antiseptic mouthwash it’s probably best to use them before brushing. But again, let’s put this into perspective. You are not going to get cavities from using an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing, you are 100% more likely to get cavities from sugar and fermentable carbohydrates like crackers and chips and from not brushing and flossing your teeth properly. Please keep that in mind.

I’ve also read some of the comments and saw a lot of people saying like “why is dentistry so confusing?” “Do we use mouthwash or don’t we use mouthwash?” And to that, I agree. It’s unfortunate that social media makes everything sound like a one-size-fits-all. However, you have to know that nothing in dentistry is a one-size-fits-all.

How do you use antiseptic mouthwash?

There’s always general concepts, but there’s always also lots of exceptions. Are there some patients of mine that I would actually recommend to use an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing? Maybe yes, maybe they’re going through gum disease therapy right now. And we were really focused on lowering the microbial count in their mouth. Maybe that’s what’s important for them and that’s what certain people need for their individual mouth right now.

But on the other hand, are there some patients where I would say: don’t even use an anticavity fluoride mouthwash after brushing which I generally feel is good for most people like I said earlier, but some patients that are so extremely cavity-prone need all the extra flooring they can get.

So in this extreme case, someone who is so super prone to cavities would have already been prescribed a prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste from their dentist and would have already been aware of the recommendations of keeping the toothpaste on their teeth.

So just please remember that not brushing your teeth is what will cause cavities. Not flossing or cleaning between your teeth properly is what will cause cavities. Mouthwash will not cause cavities. But if you want to go above and beyond with your homecare routine, Yes, totally after you brush spit but don’t rent and try to leave that toothpaste on your teeth. But if you can’t do that due to sensory issues of leaving the toothpaste on your teeth or you just really don’t like the feeling of it. You can totally use an anti cavity mouthwash or no mouthwash.

Mouthwash isn’t going to make or break your dental health. Brushing, flossing, and the foods you eat are the things that will make or break your dental health, but if you do like mouthwash don’t be afraid to use it and again if you are worried about cavities go for the anticavity fluoride mouthwash and if you’re not cavity-prone and or you just prefer an antiseptic mouthwash cool, just maybe consider using it before you brush your teeth.

So in all my ending comment is to always always, always ask your dental provider which mouthwash they think is best for your individual mouth, if any. And please remember that cavities come from not brushing your teeth not flossing your teeth and a bad diet cavities don’t come from using mouthwash. I hope this kind of clears everything up.

Alternatives to mouthwash for maintaining oral hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is extremely important for overall health and well-being. Brushing and flossing are two of the most common ways people keep their teeth clean, but many people also use mouthwash as an extra step towards good oral health. However, for some people, mouthwash can be too harsh or cause discomfort. The good news is that there are several alternatives to mouthwash that can help keep your mouth clean and healthy.

One alternative to traditional mouthwash is oil pulling. Oil pulling involves swishing a small amount of oil, typically coconut oil or sesame oil, around your mouth for 10-20 minutes. The oil helps to remove bacteria and toxins from your mouth and can lead to fresher breath and healthier gums.

Another way to maintain good oral hygiene without using mouthwash is to drink plenty of water. Water helps to wash away food particles and bacteria from your mouth, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, some foods like crunchy vegetables and fruits, such as carrots and apples, can help to naturally clean your teeth and freshen your breath.

Finally, using a tongue scraper can be an effective alternative to mouthwash. Your tongue harbors a large amount of bacteria, which can contribute to bad breath and tooth decay. Scraping your tongue with a tongue scraper can remove that bacteria and give you fresher breath.

While mouthwash can be beneficial for some people, there are plenty of alternatives to maintain good oral hygiene. From oil pulling to tongue scraping to simply drinking more water, keeping your teeth and gums healthy has never been easier. By incorporating some of these alternatives into your daily routine, you can maintain your oral health without any discomfort or harsh chemicals.