To Gargle or Not to Gargle?: Mouthwash Facts and Myths Everyone Should Know

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After a minute or two of brushing your teeth, who doesn’t enjoy getting that minty kick that follows after gargling a swig of mouthwash? What makes it even more fun is the fact that this simple oral rinse brings a number of other benefits beyond fresh breath. Mouthwash makers claim that regular oral rinse comes with other advantages, such as teeth whitening, plaque prevention, and gum-disease protection.     So, with all these benefits, who wouldn’t want to include a few seconds of gargle in their everyday oral care routine?

However, are all these claims true? What do oral care professionals like dentists, orthodontists, and digital dental laboratories have to say about the issue? Is mouthwash really beneficial for your mouth? While these benefits may be undeniable, many are still worried about using mouthwash due to some of the alcohol contents many of these rinses have. Here are some of the most common myths and the truths behind them:


All mouthwashes are manufactured equal

There are two types of mouthwashes available on the market: cosmetic mouthwashes and therapeutic mouthwashes. The first type is used to loosen bits of food stuck in between your teeth, reduce bad breath temporarily, and give you a refreshing taste inside the mouth. However, it doesn’t do anything more than that. Therapeutic mouthwashes, on the other hand, are more effective but may come with a few side effects.


Using mouthwash regularly won’t do you any harm

It’s common for many users of therapeutic mouthwashes containing high alcohol to experience dry mouth, which ironically increases bad breath. In addition, it can cause irritation in the tissues found inside your mouth, as well as increased teeth sensitivity. There are options available for those who prefer alcohol-free mouthwashes. But like other therapeutic mouthwashes, these may have some side effects, such as stained teeth and a burning sensation inside the mouth which can be extremely uncomfortable. Others that contain essential oils may have a sharp after taste that won’t go away even after some time.


Using mouthwash can help cure bad breath

man poring mouthwash in the bottle

While many have been using mouthwashes primarily to get rid of bad breath, it isn’t a permanent solution. What’s even more alarming is that regular mouthwash use can actually mask the symptoms of more serious oral health issues than having a bad breath. Furthermore, the effectiveness of mouthwash gets reduced due to our natural saliva. Also, never consider mouthwashes as a replacement for regular brushing. Remember, mouthwashes aren’t solutions to oral health-related problems. They’re only meant to provide temporary relief. This isn’t to say they don’t work. They do, but you have to gargle or rinse for a full half a minute to truly enjoy the benefits.

As with many other things in life, what may be effective for another person may not be the perfect choice for you when it comes to getting the right mouthwash. Think about your own oral health needs and be sure to consult your dentist if you need help choosing the best product for your condition. Aks for their recommendations.

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