You’re brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once and coming in for an annual evaluation with our periodontist at Westchester Center for Periodontal & Implant Excellence. But is there more you can do to stave off gingivitis and other gum diseases? After all, the health of our gums is linked to not only our oral health but our overall health as well. So taking extra precautions is a no-brainer.
If you are not using a mouth rinse, more commonly referred to as mouthwash, our periodontist recommends adding this to your daily oral hygiene routine. Swishing with a mouth rinse either before or after brushing can help wash away bits of food that your toothbrush and floss may not be reaching. It can also help cut down on plaque, that sticky, bacteria-laden film that coats your teeth.
Before choosing a mouth rinse, it’s important to note that some brands are only meant to freshen breath, while therapeutic mouth rinses contain ingredients that can control or reduce gingivitis, plaque and tooth decay while also freshening your breath. Therapeutic mouth rinses can also help soothe sore or inflamed gums.
Mouth rinses are available over the counter but can be obtained at prescription strength by our periodontist if required. Many alcohol- and preservative-free varieties are available, as well.
Children younger than the age of 6 should not be using a mouth rinse unless recommended by a dentist because of the risk of accidentally swallowing large amounts of the liquid.
Whichever brand of therapeutic mouth rinse you use, keep in mind that it’s not a substitute for brushing and flossing; it’s just one more weapon in your arsenal against gum disease and tooth decay. If you have questions about which type of mouth rinse is best for you and your family, or have other concerns about oral hygiene, please contact our periodontist at Westchester Center for Periodontal & Implant Excellence to schedule an appointment.
By Westchester Center for Periodontal & Implant Excellence
June 26, 2023