Regularly brushing your teeth with toothpaste is one of the most important steps to maintaining good oral health and a nice white smile. Our dentists at Lakeview Dental Care, like most dentists, recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day for about two minutes.
Obviously, life gets in the way of this from time to time. If you ever find yourself without a toothbrush or toothpaste, mouthwash tends to present itself as the next best possible option – but is it really?
Mouthwash Only Masks the Problem
Mouthwash is there to provide fresh breath and mask odors for short periods of time. If you experience chronically bad breath, however, that may be an indicator of a more serious dental health issue.
Gum disease and other conditions can pose serious problems to your overall health if unaddressed. These can include a heightened risk for heart attacks and/or strokes and can even aggravate diabetic complications.
While mouthwash can’t prevent or treat conditions like these, brushing and regular maintenance can. It is extremely important to take care of your smile and to visit the dentist regularly.
Only Using Mouthwash Worsens The Problem
In addition to not being a viable solution to combat bad breath, mouthwash can actually damage your mouth if used too frequently.
The alcohol found in mouthwash can lead to decreased saliva production and cause dry mouth, an uncomfortable condition that can allow more bacteria to grow in the mouth. Ironically, this increase in bacteria can actually lead to worse-smelling breath.
Mouthwash Doesn’t Remove Plaque
Without regular brushing and professional teeth cleanings, it is very difficult to combat plaque buildup on the surface of your teeth. Plaque is damaging to your teeth and can lead to a number of complications, such as:
- Gingivitis & Gum Disease
- Tooth & Gum Infection
- Tooth Decay
- Tooth Loss
When and How to Use Mouthwash
Although it should not be considered an alternative to brushing your teeth and flossing regularly, mouthwash can be safely used in your twice-daily brushing routine.
In addition to freshening your breath if used responsibly, different mouthwashes offer solutions to a number of common dental problems. Mouthwashes can be used to help whiten your teeth or provide you with more fluoride if desired; you can even get prescription mouthwashes to more effectively target certain dental problems.
However you decide to use mouthwash, it is important you use it safely and only in combination with regular brushing and flossing.
More Information at Lakeview Dental Care
Temporary bad breath is something we all deal with from time to time. If you’re looking to learn more about how to manage your dental hygiene and improve your overall oral health, the dentists at Lakeview Dental Care are here to help.
With six convenient locations across New Jersey, Lakeview Dental Care is well-equipped to handle all of your needs in a trustworthy and convenient manner. We also offer affordable dental care for patients without dental insurance.
Call or schedule an appointment to learn more about how we can freshen your breath and improve your smile!