Is Mouthwash Necessary?

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If you have been to the dental aisle at the pharmacy or grocery store lately you have no doubt been assaulted with seemingly endless options in toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash. Maybe you have your favorite toothpaste, hopefully you have your favorite floss, but what about mouthwash? Is mouthwash even necessary for keeping your mouth clean?

The truth is, no, mouthwash is not necessary for a healthy mouth. Flossing daily, brushing at least twice a day, and keeping regular dental appointments are necessary for optimal oral health. However, that does not mean that you should write off using mouthwash.

a lady with a healthy smile

Mouthwash can greatly benefit those who are prone to cavities. A mouthwash that contains fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel of the teeth to increase its ability to fight off the development of cavities.

An antibacterial mouthwash can also help to treat mild gingivitis and to prevent further gum disease. Antibacterial mouthwash contains two key ingredients: alcohol and chlorhexidine, both of which fight against infection. When the gums and/or tooth sockets are irritated or inflamed, bacteria are at work causing destruction within the mouth. For those with mild gum disease, adding mouthwash to their daily oral health routine can greatly benefit the health of the entire mouth. Your dentist can recommend the best antibacterial mouthwash for you.

Pregnant women and their unborn babies can also greatly benefit from mouthwash. Throughout pregnancy, women experience a huge shift in hormones in very short amount of time. These hormonal changes cause the gums to become extremely vulnerable to periodontal disease. There is a direct link between periodontal disease and pregnancy complications. Miscarriage, preterm labor, and low birth weight babies can all be caused by periodontal disease.


So, as you can see, although mouthwash is not considered a necessary component of your oral hygiene, it can greatly benefit those who use it. If you are interested in learning more about mouthwash and if you are a candidate for its benefits, ask Dr. Travis Schwarz the next time you visit Riverheart Family Dentistry.