Mouthwash and Your Health

mouthwash and your health

Mouthwash and Your Health

Mouthwash should be an essential component of an effective oral hygiene routine, though it shouldn’t replace brushing and flossing. Instead, mouthwash provides additional protection from cavities and gum disease while helping freshen breath.

Fluoride-laced mouthwash helps prevent tooth decay while chlorhexidine-based rinses reduce plaque build-up. Some mouthwashes contain xylitol for bad breath prevention.


Brushing your teeth regularly is an effective way to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and bad breath. Brushing also helps your mouth maintain optimal pH levels and can remove plaque that has already built up; but brushing alone won’t solve all your dental hygiene problems – flossing should also be practiced regularly as part of an overall oral health routine. Mouthwash can offer some additional benefits like fresher breath; it should only be used alongside routine brushing and flossing routines.

Conventional mouthwashes contain approximately 26% alcohol in the form of ethanol, which dehydrates your mouth. This dries out your oral skin, causes an imbalance in salivary pH levels and worsens bad breath and gum inflammation (gingivitis), canker sore formation, makes remineralization harder for your mouth and destroys one of the greatest immunity tools you have – your microbiome.

Many conventional mouthwashes contain saccharin as a sweetener, an ingredient linked to various health concerns such as allergic reactions and hyperlipidemia. Furthermore, formaldehyde used for embalming bodies contains formaldehyde that may lead to skin reactions, elevated cancer risk, respiratory issues or multi-system shutdown at high doses.

When searching for the ideal mouthwash, be sure it carries the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance; this ensures it has been rigorously tested to meet its stated functions and provide optimal performance. Also look out for ingredients which target any specific concerns you might have:

If you have a cavity, use a mouthwash with xylitol to fight cavities and sodium fluoride to strengthen enamel. For dry mouth symptoms such as chlorine dioxide and cetylpyridinium chloride should also be utilized; and to combat bad breath use deodorizers like methyl salicylate, thymol and eucalyptol for best results.

For a mouthwash that effectively whitens teeth, look for hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as its active ingredient. This antimicrobial solution works to disrupt bacteria cell walls and kill them off while being safe enough for children (though supervision should still be observed to make sure they don’t swallow too much of it!). It may even work wonders in treating gum diseases!


Flossing should be an integral part of your oral hygiene routine, as it removes plaque and food that brushing alone cannot reach such as between teeth and along gum lines. Not only does flossing make your breath fresher, helping prevent cavities, but it can also lower your risk for respiratory diseases such as asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis due to bacteria from the mouth entering bloodstream then to lungs causing issues.

Utilizing mouthwash as part of your regular dental regimen can greatly benefit oral health, though it should not replace brushing and flossing. Instead, it should come second – brush and floss first then use mouthwash for added extra cleaning power! Adding in mouthwash may also help loosen any remaining food debris between your teeth that was missed when brushing/flossing/rinsing alone wasn’t enough!

There are various varieties of mouthwash available on the market, but all provide similar benefits. Mouthwash can help reduce bacteria levels in the mouth to lower risk for gum disease and tooth decay as well as eliminate bad odor-causing compounds in your breath and help prevent gum inflammation. Furthermore, certain mouthwashes contain ingredients which whiten teeth.

Important to remember when it comes to using conventional mouthwash is seeking approval from both your dentist or dental hygienist, since overuse of traditional toothpastes may do more damage than good – irritating the gums, leading to gingivitis, as well as damaging oral microbiomes, dry out your throat, cause an imbalance in pH levels, worsen bad breath, and possibly increase risk for oral cancer.

Flossing is an easy and effective way to improve your oral health, so visit your Fountain Hills dentist for advice on how best to floss. Also check out our podcast episode “The Link Between Oral Health and Heart”, published every Wednesday on our YouTube channel!


Most prescription and over-the-counter mouthwashes contain antimicrobial ingredients to kill off bad bacteria, such as thymol or menthol, while others contain essential oil constituents with antibacterial properties like phenols and monoterpenes. Unfortunately, too often people overuse mouthwash, disrupting their microbiome by killing off good bacteria that contribute to digestion, tooth mineralization, gum disease prevention, bad breath prevention, etc.

Overusing mouthwash may actually worsen halitosis as traditional mouthwashes containing alcohol dry out your oral environment, depriving it of saliva and beneficial bacteria needed to control bad breath.

Long-term use of certain kinds of mouthwash may contribute to gingivitis and tooth decay; those containing chlorhexidine in particular can stain teeth while irritating gum tissues, leading to infection.

Mouthwash should never replace brushing and flossing; while it can help freshen breath, it cannot effectively remove plaque. While mouthwash can help freshen breath, regular brushing and flossing alone are necessary to eliminate this buildup of tartar on teeth; additionally it can prevent cavities by dislodging food particles that otherwise harden onto them, thus helping prevent cavities; additionally it neutralizes your pH level after eating to help stop acid erosion caused by food or beverages that contain acids.

People prone to canker sores should avoid mouthwashes containing sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which has been shown to either trigger them or make them worse. Furthermore, those suffering from aphthous stomatitis should stay away from analgesic mouthrinses such as benzydamine or Difflam as they could potentially lead to ulcers and damage fillings.

For optimal oral care, choose a mouthwash without SLS and with a high PH level. Carefully read and adhere to any label instructions or contact your dentist if unsure which mouthwash would best fit you and your unique oral microbiome. Ideally, mouthwash should be used after each meal or at least daily; doing this ensures food particles do not accumulate between your teeth and on gums as much.


Utilizing mouthwash is an integral component of dental hygiene. It reaches places that brushing and flossing alone cannot, while clearing away food debris and killing bacteria – leaving your teeth and gums fresh and clean. But remember not to replace brushing and flossing with mouthwash! Additionally, different products contain different ingredients; some may be more effective than others so be sure to read labels carefully when purchasing mouthwashes; check also whether any contain chlorhexidine gluconate or cocamidopropyl betaine as these could potentially stain teeth!

Many mouthwashes contain astringent salts and odor neutralizers to combat bad breath; however, their effects may only be temporary and additional uses may be required to achieve long-lasting fresh breath. Furthermore, some contain fluoride for protecting tooth enamel from decay.

Mouthwash can also reduce inflammation in the gums and mouth. Additionally, it may help remineralize enamel by disorganizing bacteria colonies that deposit minerals on your teeth surface and disorganizing bacteria colonies that live there. Furthermore, studies have demonstrated how mouthwash may also help protect against gingivitis as well as reduce plaque build-up.

Your pregnancy could also benefit from using mouthwash during gestation. Gum disease during gestation can increase the risk of preterm, low-weight babies due to bacteria entering the bloodstream from gum infections and stimulating early contractions; using mouthwash during this stage could help protect you.

Though many mouthwashes claim to kill bacteria, this does not ensure protection from tooth decay. Your oral microbiome plays an essential role in the natural remineralization process of your teeth; killing all the beneficial bacteria will only require more work from your body in remineralizing them.

Mouthwash contains chemicals such as alcohol and fluoride which may be detrimental to the health of your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, mouthwash should not be used with children under six as they have not developed the necessary swallowing reflex yet. Furthermore, mouthwash should never be used on open sores or lesions in the mouth as this could worsen them and potentially lead to more infections.