50245956 - closeup of mid adult man pouring bottle of mouthwash into capWhile mouthwash can’t take the place of flossing or brushing, it can have some benefits. Adding mouthwash to your routine could help reduce your risk of developing cavities as well as gum disease. Mouthwash can get to places your toothbrush isn’t capable of reaching, which can help remove more bacteria.

Mouthwash may help prevent tooth decay, reduce plaque, help prevent or reduce the risk of gingivitis, and reduce the formation of tarter. It, of course, also freshens your breath. However, keep in mind, there are two main types of mouthwash, and therapeutic mouthwash offers all of these benefits. Cosmetic mouthwash is just for freshening breath.

While the majority of mouthwashes are available to buy without a prescription, there are some mouthwashes that may be prescribed for certain conditions. If you’re thinking about adding mouthwash to your routine, talk with your dentist and ask if it’s necessary for you, and what your best options are.

When shopping for your mouthwash, you are going to want one approved by the A.D.A. (American Dental Association). They ensure the product is “safe and effective.” Also, be sure to read the label, look for age restrictions, instructions, and more. Keep in mind, usually children 6 and under should avoid mouthwash, as this is a vulnerable age where they could accidentally drink dangerous amounts. Because many contain alcohol, drinking mouthwash could cause nausea and intoxication.

If you ever have any questions about your dental routine, ask an expert in the industry. Your dentist can help you put together a dental plan that’s best for you.

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