What mouthwash do you recommend?
Well, let’s talk about that.
What do you want a mouthwash to do?
What can a mouthwash do?
Your own saliva is the best mouthwash. It does a bunch of good things. It rinses around your mouth when you swallow and talk, mixes with food to start digestion, and buffers acids that can start decay, making them less potential for decay. Saliva mixes with foods to make starches taste sweet.
Though it may not seem like it at first, water is a good mouthwash. It will rinse away chunks of leftover food, refresh your mouth when it is dry, and is cheap and easy to get. Plus, it doesn’t leave a bad taste!
Store bought mouthwashes can leave a good taste and mask mouth odors. I’ve had flavors like mint, cinnamon, and cherry. Some of them have fluoride that helps slow down decay. Others have antibacterial ingredients that help eliminate some of the germs that cause bad breath and gum inflammation. There are certain mouthwashes that have soothing ingredients that help sore throats and canker sores. For those with dry mouth, mouthwashes that make things feel more wet are available.
Prescription mouthwashes are prescribed for certain condition. Some can numb sore spots to make them feel better. There are antibiotic mouth rinses for infections, antifungal mouth rinses for conditions like candida infections, and steroidal mouth rinses for autoimmune flareups.
Still not sure what type of mouthwash to get? It comes down to what you want your mouthwash to do.
If it is just for taste and smell, I would say pick the flavor you like best. I like one brand, but my hygienist likes another, so I won’t list brand names for flavor. One thing we all agree on here is that the alcohol content that would be strong enough to help kill bacteria, is also strong enough to irritate the mouth, sometimes to the extent that we can tell that someone has just rinsed with it because of the dead skin sloughing off when we do an exam. For this reason, I recommend an alcohol-free mouthwash.
If you just want some temporary relief from sore spots that are going to go away, I prefer the sprays with phenol, such as Chloraseptic. Most drug stores have a generic brand that works just fine as well. It works fast but doesn’t last long. You will need to reapply every half hour or so for their effects to continue throughout the day.
For overall use, I have a favorite that I have recommended for years. It is CloSys. CloSys is very bland, meaning if you like the strong minty flavors, you will think you are rinsing with water. But it has Chlorine Dioxide in it, which kills and prevents bacteria from building up. I have seen an improvement in gingival health in people who will use it. Chlorine dioxide also combines with sulfur compounds and neutralizes the odors, which I recommend for those worried about any breath concerns they may have. As an example, one salesman came to my office to promote CloSys. To demonstrate, he rubbed garlic on his wrist and then wiped a gauze with the mouthwash over that same spot. The garlic odor was almost eliminated!
CloSys may be hard to find, but some stores, including Walmart and Walgreens, have it available for in-store pickup when purchased online through their websites with no charge for shipping.
If you wish to know more about different mouthwashes and how they affect your mouth, call us at 602-942-4260.
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